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2021 Hurricanes Pre-Season Thread

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andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
It looks like the Jets lost goaltender Eric Comrie on waivers yesterday to the Devils, so I guess you could add the Jets with the Oilers as the two teams with the greatest need for a #3 goaltender...so Ned to the Oilers or Jets in this weeks game of goalie carousel.

But to keep Ned, he’d have to be on the 23 man roster. If any team claiming him wants to put him on the taxi squad, he has to clear waivers again. And then the Canes can claim him and out him on the taxi squad without exposing him to waivers. Or am I misremembering the trials and tribulations of Zach Boychuk who ended up in Charlotte after cycling through Pittsburgh and Nashville that year.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
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Canes trade Clark Bishop to Ottawa for dman Maxime Lajoie. He’s played 62 games over 2 seasons, and has 7 goals, 8 assists. He’s a left shot. Presumably, he replaces Forsling on the organizational depth chart but with Bishop gone, we‘re running out of centers.
 

cmaleski2

Well-known member
You have it correct andyt. If someone claims Ned, he has to stay on their active roster or be waived again. That means he takes up a roster spot AND his cap hit counts.

Edmonton I'm sure was hoping Forsberg would clear waivers so they could just stick him on their taxi squad. Nice and neat, no roster spot used, and no cap hit realized (at least up to the standard AHL buried amount, he still gets paid his $700k one way salary). With that now failing, they are faced with either claiming a goalie off of waivers (Ned?) and keeping him on their active roster OR trading for someone who cleared waivers already OR assigning one of:

Stuart Skinner, 23 years old, no NHL experience, 3.31 GAA .882 SV% in 41 AHL games last season
Dylan Wells, 23 years old, no NHL experience, 3.77 GAA, .878 Sv% in 7 AHL games last season
Olivie Rodrigue, 20 years old, no NHL experience. First year pro from the QMJHL playing on load to Graz EC of the Austrian League (3.19 GAA .906 Sv%)

To their taxi squad. The first 2 cleared waivers, Rodrigue is waiver exempt. Rodrigue is a prospect who I'm sure they want playing, so he is not really an option.

They could very well take their chances with Stuart Skinner I suppose. The Canes definitely didn't help Edmonton by claiming Forsberg.
 
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cmaleski2

Well-known member
Canes trade Clark Bishop to Ottawa for dman Maxime Lajoie. He’s played 62 games over 2 seasons, and has 7 goals, 8 assists. He’s a left shot. Presumably, he replaces Forsling on the organizational depth chart but with Bishop gone, we‘re running out of centers.

#14 forward for a #8 Dman.

You are right about center depth. In theory Martinook can be a 4th line center and we could always play Necas at center in a pinch. After that you are looking at our 'zero games pro experience guys who are hanging around because their Juniors league is still shut down (Jarvis, Rees), our #1 pick from 2019 who I'm not sure where he is at the moment (Suzuki), our taxi squad extra (Drew Shore), and our AHLers, some of which have not played a regular season pro game yet (the Cotton Bros) and some of who are more experienced (Lorentz, Mattheos).

That's thin. Shore is the obvious first guy up if the Canes decide they have to add a center to the active roster, he will almost certainly be on the taxi squad. I would expect Lorentz is next on the depth chart after that?
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
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#14 forward for a #8 Dman.

You are right about center depth. In theory Martinook can be a 4th line center and we could always play Necas at center in a pinch. After that you are looking at our 'zero games pro experience guys who are hanging around because their Juniors league is still shut down (Jarvis, Rees), our #1 pick from 2019 who I'm not sure where he is at the moment (Suzuki), our taxi squad extra (Drew Shore), and our AHLers, some of which have not played a regular season pro game yet (the Cotton Bros) and some of who are more experienced (Lorentz, Mattheos).

That's thin. Shore is the obvious first guy up if the Canes decide they have to add a center to the active roster, he will almost certainly be on the taxi squad. I would expect Lorentz is next on the depth chart after that?

Did you forget the NHL all time leader in points per game, Morgan Geekie? Hopefully, he’s 4C and there is a rotation on his wing. If any of the top 3 centers go down, everyone probably slides up a spot and Martinook becomes 4C, but were in trouble after that. I think Lorentz is probably in next, he had a nice season in Charlotte and forced his way into the playoff bubble.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I didn't forget about Geekie, I consider him one of our 4 locked in NHL centers.

Brind’Amour doesn’t. Geekie was one of 5 players assigned to the taxi squad, along with Lorentz, McCormick, Bean and Ryan. Bean and Geekie are still waivers exempt, so those moves reduce salaries since they‘ll be paid their AHL salary while on the taxi squad. If any of the squad besides the 3rd goalie travels, I bet it will be them.

 

CanadaCanes

Well-known member
The Leafs...as cap crunched as they are, did not want to risk losing their third goalie Aaron Dell on waivers so they are carrying three on the active roster for now and absorbing Dell’s salary cap hit. They still remember fondly losing Curtis Mac and Calvin Pickard a day or two before the season started two years ago and then not having a decent backup goalie all year.
 

cmaleski2

Well-known member
I assume the Canes are going to be active users of their taxi squad as far as Geekie is concerned. You can effectively move players to and from the taxi squad without limit, daily if you wanted to. So while Geekie started day 1 of the season on the taxi squad, he can still travel with the team, practice with the team, and be added to the roster and play in tomorrow night's game. After the game its back to the taxi squad, then back to the active roster on the next game day, etc.

If the Canes take that approach, they will save both money and cap hit through the season. They are all paper transactions, so Geekie is effectively a full time member of the NHL squad the entire season. Of course the consequence of that is to Geekie's take home pay. Its a sucky situation for players on 2 ways who are going to be subjected to this. You are getting paid your minor league salary on days there is no game, but an NHL salary on game day. Geekie would likely have otherwise started the season on the regular NHL roster and would have been earning NHL pay daily.

This type of thing will be going on across the league with players on 2 way deals AND with players on one way contracts who cleared waivers, as their taxi squad presence allow you to hide their cap hit when they are on the taxi squad (up to the $1.05 million limit). Teams will be looking to take advantage of this to save some cash and cap hits with their fringe NHLers on 2 ways and cap hit with some of their one way players who cleared waivers. Those players that cleared waivers and ended up on the taxi squad will have to clear waivers again if they reach the 30 days on NHL roster/10 games played thresholds still.

Its going to be a very very busy season on the transaction wire across the league.
 

CanadaCanes

Well-known member
If the Canes have a weakness, it would have to be the seasoned forward depth at the taxi squad and AHL level right now. Despite being top 5 in the league in regards to prospects in the system, they just do not have very much depth in terms of AHL guys that really are capable of playing very many NHL minutes right now. If the Covid bug was to bite let's say 3-4 forwards, it's kind of scary once you get past Geekie on the taxi squad. I guess McCormick, Shore, Bracco and Lorentz are as good as it gets in terms of call ups ready to pitch in. A couple years back they had a ton of guys that could fill that role nicely in Gauthier, Brown, Saarella, Roy, Metalanen, Luostarinen, etc.
 

cmaleski2

Well-known member
Also one thing to note. Taxi squad callups must occur by 5PM on game nights. The Canes right now have elected to start with a 21 man roster (12 forwards, 6 Dmen and the 3 goalies). Its possible that before EVERY GAME, the Canes 'call up' a forward and Dman from the taxi squad, regardless of whether or not they plan to play that player that night. That covers the Canes if there is an injury during warmups. Other teams will be doing this for sure. The Canes MIGHT elect to just save the cash and cap hit and take our chances rather than do this given our track record, its hard to say.

If the plan is play things safe by making sure we have a backup forward and Dman every night, they can sprinkle in Lorentz and McCormick occasionally for the extra forward. It should be easy to keep those 2 guys away from the 30 days on active roster number if there are no injuries. I think Geekie will be playing (a lot) so he will be a frequent taxi squad recall. On D, if you are not intending to play the extra Dman, its cheaper to call up Ryan than Bean (Ryan's NHL salary and cap hit are lower), you just want to watch the 30 day roster before waivers again number.
 

cmaleski2

Well-known member
Here are the cap hits/salaries for a our taxi squad (all 2 ways):

Jake Bean NHL Cap Hit: $863,333 NHL Salary: $832,500 AHL Salary: $70,000
Joakim Ryan NHL Cap Hit: $700,000 NHL Salary: $700,000 AHL Salary: $150,000

Morgan Geekie NHL Cap Hit: $763,333 NHL Salary: $700,000 AHL Salary: $70,000
Max McCormick NHL Cap Hit: $700,000 NHL Salary: $700,000 AHL Salary: $150,000
Steven Lorentz NHL Cap Hit: $725,000 NHL Salary: $700,000 AHL Salary: $70,000

If the Canes are going to call up an extra forward before a game, just for injury insurance, Max McCormick is the option that impacts the cap the least. Ryan is the obvious 'callup just for injury insurance' option over Bean, but we would want to limit that to no more than 29 callups to avoid waivers.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Interesting. Well...I hate Martinook at center so I'm surprised. That does save money.
Depends a bit on how they utilize the 4th line, but in general I agree. Marty at center turns what could have been a possession unit into a shift disturbing unit. That's OK, I guess ... but going with Geekie would better integrate the 4th line into the same sort of game plan the rest of the team is playing. Whatever. It's early days and whatever the Canes do in Game 1 isn't set in stone for the rest of the year or anything.

On the taxi squad, I expect them to "activate" a defenseman for insurance most of the time. You can get away with 11 forwards for one game a heck of lot easier than you can 5 D, should anybody be questionable or get dinged up in the pre-game. We'll also have to see how they play the taxi squad once the major junior guys have to leave the AHL roster. That could be a kink in the works down the road.
 

cmaleski2

Well-known member
I would expect the plan now is Forsberg is our #3 and Ned is heading down to Chicago so he can actually play some games.

We theoretically could waive Forsberg now that Ned cleared waivers and then put Ned on the Taxi squad. You have to have either a rostered 3rd goalie or at least 1 goalie on the taxi squad this season.

I don't think that Forsberg was just a hedge in case Ned failed to clear waivers, I think the Canes saw him as a better option than Ned for that #3 role. The fact that Ned cleared waivers is a bonus. We will see what the Canes do today now that Ned cleared, but the CHEAPEST thing to do is to waive Forsberg (and hope he ends up back with Edmonton) and taxi squad Ned. I think the BEST move from a hockey perspective is just send Ned to Chicago and keep Forsberg.

---Note, Forsberg was not placed on waivers today---.
 
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