It’s been a long time since I updated this place thanks to personal life crap, but all that’s pretty much done with, so here’s a quick piece.
The draft is coming up; there’s less than a month till we’ll know who the Canes take as their first-round pick. Scouting reports are mixed on whether they’ll draft a dman or a forward. So here are five reasons to draft a forward.
1) Someone to play with Skinner – Skinner and the Finns has worked fairly well over the past two years, but it hasn’t always been perfect, and if we’re being blunt, the Finns in question aren’t nearly the kind of talent Skinner would be best paired with in the future. Kid’s going to be elite, and who wants, five or six years down the line, to have the same dilemma and need for a linemate that the Canes have with Eric Staal right now?
2) Charlotte is flush with defensemen – I’ve talked before about Jeff Daniels’ intensely defensively responsible system. McBain and Faulk came from it, and Charlotte has other defensemen who are cooking. Mind, Charlotte missed the playoffs this year; but that’s in no small part due to Carolina already stealing from their roster. What Charlotte doesn’t have is elite forwards. Dalpe ain’t bad, sure, but he’s no Jeff Skinner.
3) The Hurricanes need offense – It’s poetic and journalistically simple to have Eric Staal be the shoulders upon which the team rises or falls, but practically speaking it’s not really advisable. Right now the Hurricanes have Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner, and that’s pretty much it. Tuomo Ruutu’s next in line in terms of scoring forwards, and he’s 1) not that good and 2) not getting any younger.
4) Someone to play with Eric Staal – Let me just say upfront that this is not an ideal situation. But if signing a free agent doesn’t work out – which, let’s face facts, between Carolina’s less-than-storied status in the NHL and Karmanos’s tight purse strings, could very well be the case – the forward who’s drafted might be the guy. The Hurricanes were hoping Skinner would be, before he and Staal turned out to have no chemistry whatsoever. This isn’t ideal, but considering Carolina has no real need for another young dman, it’d be better to have a forward in the wings than not.
5) Looking to the future – Eric Staal might not be in Carolina forever. The whole organization would prefer he stay, obviously, but he’s only a lock until 2015. So if Staal leaves but Skinner stays…where’s the secondary scoring? The Hurricanes need to move away from their one-guy-carries-the-team attitude. In the past 2-3 years they’ve been trying to do that; drafting another forward with a scoring touch would definitely help.
There. ANOTHER (light; it’s the weekend!) post to come tomorrow – the drought is done. Mind you, I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to fill the offseason, but I’ve got a couple ideas.