I'm extremely excited for the draft in June, and today I got to thinking about making some assumptions about the team in the offseason in order to get a better idea of what we might look like next season. I'm going to go out on a limb here and make several predictions about some things that may happen this offseason. Feel free to agree/disagree as you see fit and post your own as well.
Brind'amour Retires- I've thought about it for a long time, and I just can't see Rod coming back again. In a perfect world for both parties, Rod would come back next year and be a 20 goal scorer, and continue to win faceoffs, but I just can't see him returning. Even if by his own choice he decides to play another year, I see the Canes buying him out because I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, he's making somewhere around 3 mil. He's too pricey to be a 3rd/4th line faceoff specialist. I love Rod to death, but his future is NOT brightest on the ice, it's brightest in management.
Whitney Returns- I'm admittedly biased on this one. Since Ray is my favorite Cane, I was eager to write this one. But all love for Ray aside, I don't see him being able to walk away. Will he be dealt at the deadline next year? Possibly, if his stock is still as high as it was this year, but he can't walk away after the kind of season he had. I don't have any numbers in front of me, but I know he scored 20+ goals and I'm almost certain he was second to Staalsie in total points. Not bad for 38 years young.
Manny Gets Resigned- I commented on this in another post somewhere, but I see the Canes resigning Manny to a one or two year deal. Let's face it, Cam's back is still a question mark going into this season, as much as we hope he will be fine. You can't just hand the reigns to Pete Dawg next year if Cam goes down again, having a verteran who started a lot of games for you last year makes a lot of sense.
JR Blows Minds on Draft Day- Everyone in Caniac nation knows JR is not the type to show his cards. And he certainly hasn't. Look back at the deadline this previous year, EVERYONE in the hockey world saw Whitney moving, and JR moved around a lot more players than most expected. A. Ward, Alberts, Yelle, Cullen, Corvo, Walker, many of which weren't speculated to be moving. I see JR doing something bold on draft day. I'm not sure what, but it excites me to think about. With multiple 2nd rounders under our belt, I see JR moving around in the draft order. Besides.. i've heard that roughly picks 6-10 will be of similar value so I'm predicting a wild draft day for the Canes.
The Trading Block Gets a Little Bigger- I see a few players being moved towards the dog house this off-season. I think many of which could either be draft day casualties or more likely, 10-11 trade deadline casualties. I think Sergei Samsonov, Erik Cole, and possibly other veterans whose numbers are on the decline could be on the list. Especially with the talented youth we have within the organization.
Camp is Entertaining- Pre-season camp should be one of the best if not the best the Canes have ever had. None of the young AHL prospects have truly secured a spot on the Hurricanes next year. With Zach Boychuk as a favorite to make the club, the pressure is turned up for Osala, Bowman, Samson, Dodge, Terry, and even Dwyer and Tlusty. A great battle it should be between the top forwards within the organization. For defensemen, McBain should highlight the group, with Carson and Rodney also in the mix. And don't forget goaltenders, if Legace is not resigned over the offseason, but I suspect he will be, Peters, Pogge, and Murphy will have an interesting battle for backup.
The Offseason Heals Body and Mind- I think the offseason brings a healthy body, and thus a better performance next season for several key players. I think Cole, Staal, and Gleason all have better years thanks to rest. Don't forget, Cole started the year off with a broken leg against the Bruins in the second game of the year. Staal I think wasn't 100 percent at any point of the year except maybe the final week or so. Gleason who was nagged by the foot issue at the end of the year, I think has a bounce back year.
I attached some pics to add a little excitement to the piece. =D
So what do ya'll think about the offseason?