Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

The New Defense: Part Two

Tuesday, 09.09.2008 / 7:34 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
X
Share with your Friends


The New Defense: Part Two

While Tim Gleason, Joe Corvo and newcomer Joni Pitkanen are entrenched in the Hurricanes defensive corps, there remains a good deal of uncertainty about who will round out the top six..

There are certainly enough bodies to fill the rest of the unit - too many, actually. 
Anton Babchuk, Frank Kaberle, Josef Melichar, Dennis Seidenberg and Niclas Wallin are all on one-way contracts, meaning they can’t be reassigned to Albany without clearing waivers first.  Even if they did, the Canes would be on the hook for their full NHL salaries – not exactly good value.

Index | Archive

With those five defensemen for only four spots (David Tanabe, still dealing with post-concussion symptoms and on a two-way deal, is excluded), General Manager Jim Rutherford says he wants to trade one of them and save some salary in the process.

”I’d like to move one defenseman more from a budgetary point of view than anything,” he said.  “We have one more than we actually need.”

He expects that will happen, but probably not until training camps begin around the league in a few weeks.

“Right now on the trade front things are kind of slow,” said Rutherford.  “I think that anytime from now until the start of the season more teams will move players around.  There’s a couple of teams that have to spend more money to get up to the floor and there’s some teams that need to shed some money because they’re over the cap  There will be quite a bit of movement in the league here in the next six weeks.”

If dumping salary is Rutherford’s main objective, Kaberle makes the most money outside of the top three with a cap hit of $2.2 million for the next two seasons, according to nhlnumbers.com, an unofficial yet great resource for this type of thing.  Until recently the Canes best offensive defenseman, the arrival of Corvo, Pitkanen and to a lesser extent Babchuk could also make him expendable.

Next is Wallin with a cap hit of $1.7 million, but he’s refused to waive his no-trade clause in the past.  After that, none of the aforementioned blueliners make over $1.2 million.

Atlanta, Los Angeles and Phoenix are the three teams currently under the minimum payroll of $40.7 million, again according to nhlnumbers.com.  Any of those teams could probably find use for whatever it is the Canes would offer them.

As far as which defenseman will play where among the Canes eventual top six or seven, Rutherford suggested Gleason and Pitkanen will play together on the top pairing, and the number four defenseman would likely be determined by who fits best with Corvo on the second pairing – probably a stay-at-home type to counteract his offensive skills.

”You have Joe playing his style, and then we want someone there that complements him,” said Rutherford.  “Will Nicky Wallin go there?  Will Melichar go there?  Will Seidenberg go there?  That’s really up for grabs.  But there are guys who are capable of jumping in there.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61