The defense is starting to take shape for the Carolina Hurricanes. Not only does it look much bigger and different than before, but it is also a great deal younger than it has been for the past several years.
Gone is the veteran experience of Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican. They have been replaced by a couple of 24 year olds, Joni Pitkanen and Anton Babchuk.
The old men of the current corps, Frank Kaberle (34) and Nic Wallin (33) are both reportedly on the trading block, in that one or the other will be traded. Since Wallin has exercised the "no trade clause" in his contract during a previous trade attempt, the logical target to be moved is Kaberle.
Before Joe Corvo came to town, the Carolina defense was the lowest scoring group in the league. That is sure to change in the coming season, but will the Canes be able to improve upon their woeful "goals against average", which has been among the worst in the league?
Time will tell if the youth movement will help in that matter.
Keith Aucoin just signed a 2 year contract with the Washington Capitals. Aucoin is a former AHL points leader and was a huge asset for the Canes last year when the injury bug hit. The forward is a hard-skating, hustler who always gives 100%. Congratulations to Keith.
LSB ran a story yesterday about Darcy Hordichuk's recent acquisition by Vancouver. Hordichuk was quoted as saying the following....
"I want to play in the west because there are a lot more tough guys and that's my job every night," he said. "I'm so excited. I look back at my career and some of my best games have come in front of Canadian fans because that's my style. I like to run around and hit guys and anybody who's willing to drop the gloves. I'm the kind of guy who won't back down. I know my role and any chance I get to fight Georges Laraque and some of the bigger guys out there, I like to test myself against those guys."
Is this one of the dumbest quotes in history, or what? First of all, Laraque isn't even in the West and hasn't been for a couple of years. Secondly, in essence he is saying that there are no tough guys in the East that fight.
Lastly, he implies that he can only play his best hockey in front of Canadian fans, this after having played his whole career in places like Nashville, Atlanta, and Florida. So much for those fans, eh?
Strong words from someone whose career stat sheet reads like a who's who of forgotten 4rth liners. He also won't win any awards for being the smartest of players out there.
Karma is a funny thing, Darcy. It will be a pleasure for Southern hockey fans to watch Wade Brookbank kick your tail at some point next season.
Speaking of 4rth liners, Jarko Ruutu signed a 3 year deal with Ottawa. He and Chris Neal will be a nasty tandem. (I wonder if Chris Neal agrees that there no tough guys in the East?)