Tracking the Storm

Tweetmail No. 7: Recalls, Offseason & A Movie

Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 10:30 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Tweetmail No. 7: Recalls, Offseason & A Movie
Answering your Twitter questions about recalls, potential moves in the offseason and more.
Michael Smith
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Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

Let’s get to it.

With the recent recall of Chris Terry from Charlotte, do you see any other potential recalls forthcoming to “test them out” this year? – Dan M. (@caniac176)

Head coach Kirk Muller had this to say on Tuesday about Chris Terry’s recall: “Our problem is scoring goals, and he can score goals, so we’re giving him an opportunity,” he said, noting Terry would also get a look on the team’s power play. “He’s been playing well down there, he’s a goal scorer and we’ll see if he can be a goal scorer up here.”

Terry logged 13:47 of ice time in the Canes 3-1 win in Columbus before being reassigned to Charlotte for their game in Norfolk on Wednesday.

Looking ahead, it’s reasonable to assume that other players could get a look in a one-off basis. Considering other forwards on the recall short list, you’d have to look at Zach Boychuk, Brett Sutter and Aaron Palushaj, who have all seen time with the big club this season and who are all at or near a point-per-game scoring pace in the last month.

One item of note is the limited number of non-emergency recalls allotted to NHL clubs following the trade deadline. In addition to the Terry transaction, the Canes recalled defenseman Ryan Murphy on March 6, leaving the club with two additional non-emergency recalls from now until the end of the season.

It’s certainly not out of the question that the Canes might want to get another look at a young player – like Boychuk, Sutter or Palushaj, who are all due new contracts this summer – but they do have limited space to do so.

With the goaltending situation, who is more likely not to be here in 2014-15? – Jake G. (@GumbleJake)

Before we delve into to the not, let’s examine the determined. Consider this quote from Canes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford in his post-trade deadline press conference: “I think I’m going to say the obvious that [Khudobin] will be one of our goalies going forward.”

Unless a whiz-bang trade offer comes across the table, Anton Khudobin – at a very reasonable $2.25 million average over the next two seasons – will be one of the Hurricanes’ goaltenders in 2014-15.

Then who is the second goaltender? Let’s examine three options.

1) Cam Ward. Ward has two years remaining on his six-year contract he signed in September 2009. With Khudobin already locked in for two additional years, the Canes wouldn’t have to do any additional work to determine their goaltending tandem for next season. But does the club want to tie up over $8 million in two goaltenders? Removing Ward from the equation would require either buying him out or trading him.

2) Justin Peters. Peters is a pending unrestricted free agent but would be a rather affordable back-up option.

3) An unknown third option. In what could be the least likely of options, the Canes could trade or buy out Ward, let Peters test the free agent market and then sign another goaltender to back up Khudobin.

Whichever route the Canes pursue, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly, which is why Rutherford said the team opted to reassess the situation in the offseason rather than make a snap judgment at the trade deadline.

“We have a lot of respect for all three of our goalies, and I just think making a quick decision through the trade deadline was not the right thing to do,” he said.

Thoughts on the Canes unrestricted and restricted free agents? Other than Justin Faulk, who would you bring back? – Gregg W. (@nhbeast)

As we approach what could be an interesting summer, our handy-dandy Contract Chart will become even handier and dandier than ever.

As you mentioned, I’d consider Justin Faulk to be the most pressing (restricted) free agent. At just $550,000, the one-year, two-way signing of Nathan Gerbe was a steal for the Canes this year and would be great to bring back into the fold next year. Brett Bellemore took a leap forward in his NHL career in 2013-14, logging his first full season with the Canes, and he’s deserving of a new contract with the team. At the right price, Jiri Tlusty (though he hasn’t put up career numbers as he did last season), Manny Malhotra (faceoffs) and Ron Hainsey (stepped in quite nicely on defense) would be nice re-additions.

Of course, there will certainly be additional players, especially ones that can fill depth roles in Charlotte and compete for spots with the big club in training camp, re-signed. (But, alas, I am the web producer and not the general manager for a reason.)

Which movie describes a typical day in the Canes marketing department? – Carolyn G. (@goCanes_score)

This is a great question that I had to noodle (or Nodl) on for a week.

At first, I was going to answer with an amalgam of movies and television shows and features – the zaniness of “Anchorman,” the stoic productivity found at times in “Brazil” (obscure, but I watched it recently), the problem-solving nature of “House” and the quirkiness of a SportsCenter commercial because yes, Stormy has walked into our office a couple of times.

But after a group huddle in the digital marketing suite (or DMS for short), the movie “Elf” popped into my head. It features random wackiness, an efficient, hard-working staff, creative brain-storming sessions (though none here have yet to involve James Caan or Andy Richter) and a character that thoroughly enjoys sugar (we prefer Red Bull over syrup in the DMS). “Elf” is a genuinely fun flick that means well, and I like to think that’s the spirit we embody.

Plus, this meme is too perfect to ignore.

***

Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.



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