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Tracking the Storm

Morning Deadline Mailbag

Wednesday, 03.4.2009 / 11:59 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Morning Deadline Mailbag
We’re a few hours in, and so far a lot of the news has been about players who won’t be traded, either because their teams have publicly removed their names from the discussion (Chris Pronger) or have signed them to extensions (Tim Connoly, Filip Kuba).

Paul Branecky
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Only two trades so far – the Senators sent Antoine Vermette to Columbus for goaltender Pascal Leclaire and a second-round pick, which will help the Blue Jackets get into the playoffs for the first time in their history, but doesn’t shake things up that much here in the Eastern Conference. That is, unless Leclaire stands on his head for the Senators when they play any of the bubble teams, including the Canes on March 25.

Carolina's next opponent, Calgary, has the other move, re-acquiring defenseman Jordan Leopold from Colorado for spare parts. One of those parts, Lawrence Nycholat, was just claimed off waivers yesterday.

Still quiet around here, by the way.

Some of your questions from this morning:

Q: What about the Brindy situation?  I read an MSN article that said Carolina could look to shop him for the right player.  Do you think that if he is not traded that this is his last year in the NHL? Or if not the NHL – with Carolina?  I know is play is not what everyone –including Brind’Amour – thinks it should be, but he has been the emotional heart of the Hurricanes for so long do you think that it could be possible see him in another jersey? Could our fans take it? ­Mark A. Freeze.

A: Regardless of his statistics from this year, I’m sure a number of contending teams would love to have Brind’Amour around for his experience and leadership. If this were the last year of his contract, he would certainly be high on the list of in-demand rental players. However, he’s under contract for a few more years with a fairly significant cap hit, and I’m not sure a team looking for players to make a run this year, which is the primary motivator for deadline trades, would want to make that kind of commitment going forward, even if the Hurricanes were prepared to part ways with him. As of right now, no reason to think he won’t be around next season.

Q: Do you think that the Canes need to make a trade?  In my opinion I think we have the talent and skill we need, it just doesn’t show up every night, what do you think? - Adam M.

A: That’s probably the main thing the Canes need to figure out right now. Once Jussi Jokinen and Justin Williams come back, there will be a full allotment of forwards on the roster, and that could be enough. That’s assuming no one else gets injured, however. I think the strong play of Michael Ryan in his latest call-up may actually lessen the need for another forward, as he seems like a viable option to add depth to the lineup.

Q: Jokinen has largely solved the faceoff problem given Brind’Amour’s knee & therefore reduced time.  Along with Cullen, LaRose, Staal, and defense scoring, the big need seems to be a true top 4 slot clearing shut-down defenseman.  Thoughts? - Stuart Miller

A: There’s always room for improvement, but I think the Canes are fairly happy with their defensive depth at the moment. As it stands, they’re having to scratch veterans like Frank Kaberle or Niclas Wallin on a given night, and players from Albany have proven they can step up in a pinch. Tim Conboy could also move to the back end if need be, so there’s no shortage of actual bodies. That being said, a player like you mentioned would certainly help, but at what price?

That raises a question – after identifying the team’s needs, what would you actually be willing to give up to meet them?   Now more than ever, salary and contract length have to be taken into account, which is probably the main reason why things have been so quiet around the league so far.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 69 21 28 -11 49
J. Faulk 74 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 73 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 69 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 72 11 20 -11 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 70 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 74 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 46 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 38 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62