Discussion in 'Carolina Hurricanes' started by garnetpalmetto, Nov 20, 2017.
From Friedman's 30 thoughts:
How about Tavares?
I think we have to be careful about trading Skinner, Faulk and -- to a lesser extent -- Rask because of the Eric Staal factor. I personally believe that our chronic lack of depth puts too much pressure on the "big guys" and they wear down both emotionally and physically. It's got to be hard on a goal-scorers like Eric and Jeff when literally half the forward group is incapable of chipping in with a goal a month. It's *got* to make you lose faith in your teammates, no? Eventually, you've got to lose faith in your GM because he won't do anything to help. Then you just stop caring since it seems like nobody else does.
I think we need to get these guys some help, and that should, IMO, rejuvenate them to a degree. I believe this was what RF *intended* to do, but I think he executed the plan poorly. Since defensemen kept falling to him at the top of the draft, he made the mistake of thinking he could build depth on defense instead of up front. But the NHL is completely forward-driven these days, and that was a tactical mistake by RF and the rest of the front office, which they then compounded by not flipping a young d-man or two for young forwards. The fact of the matter is that you need forwards who can score on every line, and we are simply way, way behind in that respect.
We talk a lot about how "we have talent." And we do. But games aren't played in a vacuum. You have to go up against other teams with talent. The question isn't whether we have talent, but rather how our talent matches up with other teams in the league. This is where it all falls apart.
Our best player by point shares this season -- Aho 5.5 -- is not only not in the top 30 or top 60, he's No. 113 overall in the league. And that's not bad. He's actually in very good company, basically tied with players like Logan Couture, Nikolaj Ehlers, Josh Bailey and Matthew Tkachuk. Removing goalies, Aho is No. 83 among skaters and No. 56 among forwards (three spots ahead of Mitch Marner, incidentally).
Teuvo Teravainen is next at 5.1 point shares, No. 134 overall in the league, No. 102 among skaters, and No. 69 among forwards.
Cam Ward is our next best player at 4.5 point shares, good for No. 150 overall in the league (goalie No. 33).
Dividing by the number of teams in the league, the average team should have five guys in the top 155. We have three, all in the bottom third.
Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner are both at 3.4 point shares (skaters No. 194 and 195 overall), the same place in the world occupied by Mike Hoffman, Paul Stastny and Ryan Johansen. But Johansen is the 11th Predator on the list. Lindholm and Skinner are No. 6/7 on the Canes (Hanifin and Slavin are No. 4/5). So yeah, there's talent. There's just not a lot of it.
Obviously, this stat isn't perfect. No single stat ever will be. But I think it matches up well with the "eye test" from this season. And I think it helps put everything in perspective. We simply don't have anywhere near enough top-end talent.
Incidentally, the very worst regular (>40 GP) NHL player according to point shares is ... Joakim Nordstrom at -0.7. Sixth worst is Marcus Kruger at -0.3.
IMO, we need to add at least two legit NHL scoring forwards before we start bailing on guys. We're not even a real NHL team yet. And that's not even dealing with the league's worst goalie tandem.
I dunno, it's just a gut feeling but I have a hunch that 8 years from now we'll be sitting here talking about the timeless Erik Karlsson and how he just keeps ticking. Until the past few months it would have been easy to get agreement around the idea that Ovechkin's best years were behind him, Malkin's best years were behind him. Previously, Nick Lidstrom just kept churning out legendary seasons. When players are that much better than everyone else, it usually continues to show as they age. Especially when it comes to defensemen.
I agree with this to a point, except that I don't think it was a tactical mistake to build from the defense out. This defense allowed us to taste a playoff spot ever-so-briefly in spite of bottom-3 goaltending and a bottom-3 center group. If we have even league-average players in the other positions, we're contending for the division right now on the strength of our defense.
What's killing us is that even when we have drafted forwards, they haven't turned out to be real contributors other than Aho. Elias Lindholm at #5 is a massive miss for this franchise... which isn't to say we should have picked someone different, but we needed him to become more than a plug-and-play winger. Beyond that, we've had the one hit with Aho and then the core of a good AHL team. That's just not good enough, not even if you have high hopes for guys like Wallmark and Gauthier. We've needed someone who could come in as an obvious NHL talent and grow from that baseline, and that's the guy Francis (and JR before him) has managed to miss with all of those picks.
It's ****ing repulsive that our best forward and only outstanding forward is in a tier with Couture, Ehlers, Bailey, and Tkachuk.
Imagine me coming up to you and being like "hey, I'm a big fan of this hockey team and by far our best forward is Nikolaj Ehlers, can't wait till we win the Stanley Cup!". I mean that sounds ****ing awful. You'd almost have to deliberately try to have a forward group that bad, but we managed to do it by accident.
I buy that, but do you agree it's been a tactical mistake not to make a defense-for-forward trade along the lines of Larsson-for-Hall or Jones-for-Johanssen? I mean, building from defense out isn't a horrible plan, it's just that you don't need 10 of them. The fact that we haven't flipped a d-man for a center yet is befuddling, no?
I don't spend a lot of time with pipedreams like that, but hell yes if he'll have us.
Yeah, I do agree with that. As much as I'm loathe to break up a group that looks like it could be good for a decade, it's getting harder and harder to see us making any kind of progress through drafting and signing forwards.
I also think the Bean pick was a mistake. I just looked through the 2016 "who should we draft?" thread and Bean was not mentioned a single time as a desirable pick (NotOpie deserves a callout for pointing to McAvoy). Looking through the 2016 draft GDT, everyone was hot on Chychrun and Bellows. Nobody wanted Bean. Francis drafts Bean, the board melts down for 1 minute, and then the rationalizations start about him being BPA and building at a position of strength. Putting aside all the denial, Francis screwed up that pick and put us in a bad position for asset management. Even if he's absolutely sold on taking a defenseman, McAvoy is not only the better player but gives us that extra RHD who would have allowed us to make Faulk expendable. Never mind that the next pick was Luke Kunin, a center who is currently playing for a playoff-bound NHL team. Bean's not on a track that makes me think we're going to play him at the NHL level or flip him for anything valuable.
We just can't afford to constantly get Lindholms and Fleurys and Beans out of these picks. As much as we wish we had top-3 type picks, there are a lot of teams out there who wish they could draft at 5 and 7 and 13 every year. We're actually getting better players out of our 2nd, 3rd, 4th round picks than we are out of our 1sts and that's not something we can afford during a rebuild.
We should absolutely be doing a trade like that. The issue comes with which forward might be available in such a trade, and which defenseman we give up.
Losing Fleury/Bean/Faulk really wouldn't hurt the team too much. Losing Hanifin/Pesce/Slavin? Well, then it might be worth trying to convince the other GMs to take one of the first 3.
That's irrelevant though. 90% (and that's being generous) of us know jack **** about scouting and prospects. The whole board flipped out over Skinner. The lion share of the board wanted Nishushkin and a lot of posters thought Monahan was too "safe" of a pick. We had posters complaining about the Aho pick (why didn't we pick Bittner, Sprong or Harkins!!!!). Here's where guys/orgs that do this for a living had Bean and McAvoy ranked. In almost every one of them, Bean was ranked higher and about where the Canes picked him.
TSN (McKenzie): Bean 12, McAvoy 14 (and McKenzie's rankings are a poll of scouts)
McKeens: Bean 10, McAvoy 12
NA Central Scouting: Bean 10, McAvoy 24
Button: Bean 12, McAvoy 15
Hockey Prospect: Bean 15, McAvoy 13
ISS: Bean 16, McAvoy 23
The Hockey News: Bean 16 (and Gauthier 15), McAvoy 18
Pronmann: Bean 19, McAvoy 26
NHL Central Scouting: Bean 15, McAvoy 6 (behind Nylander, Chychrun and Juolevi)
It's the scouts job to figure out who is the best player, so when they miss (as it looks like they did here, at least early on) it's on them, but it's not an exact science. I didn't know enough about Bean vs. McAvoy to say one way or another at the time of the draft. It's a bit of a surprise, given the success they had with NCAA defensemen that they didn't take McAvoy. Who knows though. Maybe when the interviewed him he made it clear he didn't want to play here or said he was planning on staying in school all 4 years (unlikely but not impossible).
I actually think it's the Fleury pick that's going to hurt most going forward. He's just not elite in any way and we took him No. 7. ESPN's (at the time) Corey Pronman projected the Canes to take Jake Virtanen with that pick, but he went No. 6. He listed the other possibilities as: William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen or Kevin Fiala, and had Fleury going No. 12 to Phoenix/Arizona. (Worth noting that Pronman also projected Pasternak at No. 14. Not sure how he slipped as far as he did.)
When you look at our current defense -- admittedly the strength of our team -- the four core guys were selected in the first (Hanifin), second (Faulk), third (Pesce) and fourth (Slavin) rounds. TvR was undrafted. The bottom line is that the first round is *for* drafting forwards, unless the defensemen are elite. I don't agree with JR a lot, but there's no reason to draft defensemen like Fleury that high when history has shown that you can get similar defensemen later in drafts.
All I said in the carbos game thread is that I'd like to someday know what the reasoning was. I trust they had a reason, and I'm sure they thought -- and probably still think -- it's a good one. I'd just like to know what it was.
I dunno, man. I still think if we can sell high on Hanifin, we should do it. He was minus-12 in February. He gets abused 1-on-1 (the Tyler Johnson and Taylor Hall rebound goals just ... ouch) and he really doesn't seem to be getting any better. I'm starting to agree with the scouts who said he peaked in college.
I doubt we'll ever hear it though. Rarely do you hear GMs state why they didn't take a guy.
Someone (Vagrant maybe?) gave a reason that made sense, but it was speculation. That Bean was a skill that they didn't have in the organization, a dynamic offensive talent from the blue line. I remember reading somewhere after he was picked that he was a great puck mover with an offensive package that was better than any other defender in that draft (or something like that).
Canes need to be patient with him and let him be what they drafted him to be. A guy like Gostisbehere is a liability in his own end, gets sheltered, but makes up for it in leaps and bounds on the offensive end. If that's Bean's strength and why they drafted him, then groom him to be that and make him a weapon, vs. focusing so much on defense that it takes away his strength. It will come with some ups and downs, as it did with Ghost when he was benched a few times last year.
Yeah, I get it. But have you actually *seen* any of what the scouts claim his offensive package to be? I'm looking hard in training camp, prospect tournaments and the World Juniors and I haven't seen *any* of what these folks are talking about. I know we'll never know for sure. It's just weird that this guy just really doesn't seem to match the description of what we thought we were getting.
I'm agreeing with some or all of what both @bleedgreen and @theekevinc are saying here. I know there'll be some reactionaries from the hot take brigade who disagree but jettisoning Faulk when his value's at its lowest and giving up on the possibility of resigning Skinner would only put us further behind the 8-ball in terms of icing a competitive team. You'll either end up having to give away too much to get a worthwhile asset in return for Faulk or wind up with a part that really doesn't do anything to move the needle. As for Skinner there are still some nights when eh's still one of the few guys that really seems to care out there. He's a part I think you keep.
I haven't seen him enough to say.
Well it’s a good thing for the rest of the league that our scouts’ opinions are as accurate as a free website or $10 magazine. All I know is this group of ignorant fans was able to sit here and say, both in advance and in real time, that both Chychrun and McAvoy were preferable. If Francis was misled by his scouts... well... they’re HIS scouts. If players are telling him they won’t play here... he’s the GM, talk to the agent. It’s literally his job to get the players we need to be successful. If he doesn’t do that, he failed.
I get that he’s under certain constraints in the trade market (others don’t see eye to eye) or the UFA market (players won’t come here at our price range) but that’s not the case with the draft. The GM owns his draft results, more than anything else he does. Particularly a GM who explicitly says he plans to build primarily through the draft and has very little record of success in other aspects of his job. If that guy doesn’t draft well, he’s got problems. He doesn’t get to whiff on first rounders and get mulligans.
Oh C'mon Tarheel. That wasn't a $10 magazine, it was about 10 different respected media and scouting organizations I listed. Other than NotOpie, who of this "ignorant group of fans" was calling for McAvoy? And as I've shown, the same "ignorant fans" have been incredibly wrong in the past.
Look, I'm not saying Bean was a good pick, just that your statement that because we didn't have him on our radar in our draft thread, it was a bad pick is 100% irrelevant, and frankly, ridiculous. We didn't have Skinner on our radar. We didn't have Aho on our radar. We wanted Nichushkin (sp?). etc.. I do agree Francis and his scouts are paid to make the right picks so at the end of the day if they fail, it's on them, but let's not act like we know better, because we don't.
EDIT: and I looked at the poll of who we should draft in May, and here was notopie's posts:
"Finally, I could also see Charlie McAvoy or Jake Bean still being on the board at #21. McAvoy would be an interesting option as he's already played a season in the NCAA for BU and showed quite well. "
I remember having an argument almost identical to this after Pete Carroll decided to throw on the 1 yard line.
Throwing on 2nd or 3rd made sense, given the clock and the timeout situation, and that Beastmode was 1 for 30 on goal line rushes that year (people remember that the Seahawks had a kick ass running attack, but that part gets forgotten).
Throwing a slant into a crowded box was a mistake. Even if the play weren't read (a slant is the most common pass play for short yardage gains) by Butler, the receiver has the extra consideration, in an already high pressure situation, of getting clobbered by the linebackers, and if he bobbles/tips the ball rather than cleanly catches it, it's probably intercepted.
Personally, I would have done a fake power to the left, bootleg with the tight end to the right, if New England falls for it Wilson runs in/passes for an easy td, if they don't, Wilson chucks it out the end of the endzone.
I’m worried that Hanifin will be the player that puts it all together once we trade him, then we spend the next 15 years wondering why in the hell we traded him in the first place.
Hanifin sucked as an 18 year old, he was among the worst defensemen in the NHL. As a 19 year old, he was bad-to-passable in a heavily sheltered 3rd pairing role. This year, I think he's taken a huge step forward, he's still sheltered somewhat but he's playing like a 4/5.
He's improved pretty much every year he's been in the League.
Hedman was a meh 20-30 pt defensemen the first 4 years of his career, kind of like Hanifin. Hedman didn't break out until his 5th season in the NHL when he put up 55 pts in 75 games. There's still hope Hanifin has some significant growth left him like Hedman.
I still highly value Hanifin, and that's because he's still got a ton of upside left. A lot of you forget that he just turned 21 last month, and a lot of top D prospects have still yet sniffed the NHL at that age. If we ever do trade him I'm taking his upside value highly into account, and we better get back a top forward in return. If teams don't value him like that I don't trade him.
But look at his February! Bust!
Jordan Staal is the Canes leading center scorer. Only 5th overall on the team. That’s has to be some kind of record absent trade situations. No top 4 scorers from the center position? That’s almost impossible.