This 31-part series chronicles why each team is going to be trash in the 2018-2019 NHL season. Progressing alphabetically, three teams will be featured weekly during the off-season. A compendium 31-part series will be published by Hockey Doc (@RealHockeyDoc) on www.BeerLeagueTalk.com on why your team is good in the 2018-2019 NHL season.
Last year the Carolina Hurricanes had the best young D core in the league. This year they signed some more experience in free agency and still stayed young as Calvin de Haan and Trevor van Riemsdyk are a fresh 27 years old. Up front Jordan Staal and Justin Williams are the only players born before 1992. Jesus Christ, this Svechnikov kid was born in the year 2000. Playing in the NHL at 18. What have you been doing with your life? I bet you’ve been being not talented as fuck… It’s ok, me too.
Having a glut of young talent like this has to make Canes fans excited for the future but they should know not to expect immediate results. With so much young talent, they will need a coach who will hold guys accountable and ensures that the locker room has a ton of discipline. Rod Brind’Amour looks like the guy who can do that, or at least he’s gonna take a whack at it. The Rod’s been with Carolina for the past 7 seasons as an assistant coach and probably has enough experience under his belt to transition into the role of head coach. The Hurricanes management has a lot of faith in the man who captained the team to a 2006 Stanley Cup. Rod the Bod was a stud of a player, notching 1,184 points in 20 seasons, and was noted for both his on and off-ice work ethic. The guy would get done playing an NHL game then immediately hit up the weight room and go so hard the training staff would have to lock him out. Insane.
What an absolute UNIT
It’s really hard for me to hate Brind’Amour, but I’m gonna have to cut him down a few pegs, starting with: this is his first year as a head coach and as previously stated, this team is young. Second, he’s had a hand in coaching the Canes for 7 years and they haven’t made the playoffs once, not a great track record. Third, Carolina’s management may have been hittin the member berries too hard expecting, arguably the best player to ever play for the team, to be able to coach them to a Stanley Cup too.
Great players, more often than not, make bad coaches. Looking at the top coaches in the league, most didn’t play in the NHL for long and if they did they were grinders. Some say it’s because nuances of the game came to the stars naturally, while grinders or guys who never made it had to really dissect their game through their careers and study the sport to get better. Joel Quenneville played 803 games in the NHL and registered 190 points while Babcock tried out with the Canucks and didn’t make it. The list goes on, you get the point.
The most important question mark for the Hurricanes is their goaltending situation. Scott Darling was brought in to start and I had him as a Vezina winner in our preseason predictions (lol). Instead of pitching a Vezina worthy season in his first starting job, he tossed up a total shitball of a season – eventually losing starting duties to a clapped out Cam Ward who will now backup Corey Crawford in Chicago… Or start… Who knows. The Hurricanes wisely picked up free agent Petr Mrazek, who was traded to Philly last season by Detroit. They even got him cheap for $1.5 million for 1 year. This creates an interesting competition in Carolina. Darling and Mrazek have both been criticized for their work ethic and attitudes previously in their careers. Both have also shown potential to break out and become a full time starter, if not a top goalie in the league. And both are coming off pretty shitty seasons. At this point you just hand each of these guys a sharp stick and say fight to the death for the net. I’d say that right now Darling is the expected starter, but that’s only penciled in and he could very well lose that position in camp or the preseason. This situation is great for a team that is in development, but terrible for a team wanting to win now.
With a surplus of young talent, new coaching, and some goaltender deathmatches the Carolina Hurricanes could definitely take off in the next few seasons. As for this season, I say they miss the playoffs again as the players settle into their roles, the coaching staff figures out what works, and they figure out who the fuck’s going to be their goalie(s).
And that’s why the Carolina Hurricanes are trash in 2018-2019.