Abramsdoug succinctly framed what could be an interesting discussion to have in the dog days of August when he summed up a discussion that had evolved within the Canes prospects thread about the philosophical role of the fourth line:
The Fourth Line - Which Philosophy Will Jim Rutherford and Jason Karmanos and Coaches Choose?
One of the key issues Jim Rutherford, Jason Karmanos, and the coaching staff have to resolve is what role do they want the fourth line to serve? Answering that question will dictate which players have to be kept in Charlotte (until injuries create spots in the top nine) and which players will be in the Hurricanes long-term plans.
Elsker advocates a fourth line with a specific role and that role could be well-served in coming years by Samson/Dodge/Dwyer. Those players, however, in the totality of hockey skills would not be ranked above Boychuk, Bowman, Tlusty, Dalpe, Osala, Terry, Jared Staal, and perhaps Shugg as he gets more age and experience. If the Hurricanes organization decides to run a fourth line as an energy line, they probably will go with players like Samson, Dodge, and Dwyer. If on the other hand, the Hurricanes organization elects to go with its best 12 forwards, it will be difficult for all three – Samson, Dodge, and Dwyer to crack the line up. Interesting decisions are on the way.
If there’s some possibility of Dodge centering Dwyer and Samson on a future fourth line for us…
Well, now we’re getting somewhere!
I’ve had Dodge penciled in for our fourth line center ever since he came out of Clarkson. Love the whole character and talent package.
If Dwyer could be moved to wing, we’d be getting back to the days when, yes, Chad LaRose was making teams miserable with the two Adams Family boys.
Now that was a fourth line.
Here we are now...entertain us.
I'll save my contributions to the discussion for comments below, but it's certainly an interesting topic that has many facets for consideration.