FanPost

A Possible 2014/2015 Plan - "Keeping the Core" Version

This plan is made assuming that none of the highest priced forwards will be moved (or be able to be moved). I will try my hand at an off-season fire sale version later in the month.

I also made this plan with the idea that the Canes cannot increase their cap spending in 2014-2015.

The team build plan is made using these pillars:

  1. The core will move towards (but may not necessarily reach) their statistical point averages.
  2. The team should be tough to score on
  3. The team should win the possession battle game in / game out.
  4. The team identity will be blue collar, make other teams have to stand on their heads to win.
  5. The forwards will fight aggressively for the puck and skate it deep when they get it.
  6. The defensemen will be highly mobile, positionally sound and be good puck carriers.
  7. Team core and role players will play for possession, trying to minimize penalties taken.
  8. On special teams, the team should play for the league lead in PK fewest goals against, while finding the right core mix to improve the PP back to middle of the pack.

The team objective will be to place in the top 3 in the Metro division by giving up fewer goals than they score, pushing and keeping the puck in the offensive zone more than the defensive zone and committing fewer penalties than the other teams.

Why fewer penalties and very strong PK rather than more focus on PP? Because at least 4 teams in the Metro win a lot of their games by being good on the power play, while not tilting the ice during 5 on 5 hockey.

The Caps led the league, while the Blue Jackets and Penguins were tied for second out of all NHL teams in PP goals scored (the Islanders were tied for 5th most). They got a lot of their points in the standings this season by having good PP goal totals. Elsewhere in the east Toronto and Detroit were tied for 4th overall and Tampa tied for 5th in PP goals scored.

Take away the opponents PP chances and be very stout when they do get one and that should be worth a few wins if the Canes can be successful at the even strength possession battle and put most of their shots on net.

June 1st Team Assessment (cap hit = $64,240,594) -

Key Forwards - E.Staal, A.Semin, J.Staal, J.Skinner
Key Defensemen - A.Sekera, J.Faulk

Core Role Forwards - J.Tlusty, M.Malholtra, P.Dwyer, R.Nash, N.Gerbe
Core Role Defensemen - R.Hainsey, J.Harrison

The Goalie Question - C.Ward, A.Khudobin, J.Peters

Additional NHL Forwards - D.Bowman, R.Dvorak
Additional NHL Defensemen - J.Liles, M.Komisarek, J.Pitkanen

Promising NHL Ready Young Forwards - E.Lindholm, A.Loktionov
Promising NHL Ready Young Defensemen - B.Bellemore

NHL Replacement Level Forwards in AHL - Brett Sutter, A.Palushaj, Z.Boychuk, C.Terry
NHL Replacement Level Defensemen in AHL - M.Corrente, M.Flood, M.Jordan

Promising Almost NHL Ready Young Forwards -
Promising Almost NHL Ready Young Defensemen - R.Murphy

Promising Young Forwards in Organization - V.Rask, B.McGinn, S.Tolchinsky, P.Di Giuseppe, J.Shugg, P.Brown*, C.Sandlak*, G.Nemisz, B.Woods, Brody Sutter
Promising Young Defensemen in Organization - D.Biega, K.Lowe, A.Levi, R.Rissanen, D.Robertson, T.Kvisto
Promising Young Goalies in Organization - D.Altshuller

Depth Forwards in Organization - Jared Staal, K.Tochkin, N.Blanchard
Depth Defense in Organization - B.Schmitz
Depth Goalies in Organization - M.Murphy

Promising Young Forwards in minors - B.Pedersen, B.Collier, E.Karlsson, G.Hofmann
Promising Young Defensemen in minors - T.Carrick, J.Slavin, B.Pesce, T.Ganly
Promising Young Goalies in minors - C.Olson

Older International Player Rights - LW O.Osala, RW E.Dadonov

June 1st List of Team UFAs to re-sign prior to the draft:
M.Malholtra $750,000 over 1 year
R.Hainsey $2,200,000 over 2 years
B.Bellemore $800,000 over 2 years
M.Corrente $600,000 2W over 1 year

J.Peters * (resign if he will take a 2way contract!), J.Pitkanen, R.Dvorak, M.Komisarek, B.Sutter, M.Murphy, M.Flood, N.Blanchard, C.Terry not offered


2014 OFFSEASON - (here we go!)
June 19 Trading Allowed (I assume this is the case; last possible Stanley Cup game is June 18)
IMPORTANT - Trade G C.Ward (NTC), C R.Nash, RFA rights to LD R.Rissanen
TO THE Winnipeg Jets for G O.Pavelec, RW A.Brassard, RFA rights to C P.Cormier
Winnipeg gets a young 2 way center for their bottom 6, an AHL LD prospect and a potential starting goalie in exchange for a goalie their fans are unhappy with, along with 2 AHL forward prospects.

Trade RFA rights for LW J.Tlusty
TO THE Nashville Predators for RFA rights to C Nick Spaling
Nashville gets a potential 20 goal scorer, while Carolina gets a 2 way center who scored more than Riley Nash last season while taking only 47.8% of the puck drops in the offensive zone.

IMPORTANT - Compliance Buyout on J.Liles (NTC)


June 25th UFA's can meet with potential new clubs
Potential Target List (showing offers for the players I'd want first)
LW M.Michalek ***** $3,500,000 for 2-3 years, a decrease due to fewer points scored than previous years
LD A.Meszaros - Will probably be too expensive
LD K.Quincey
LD B.Orpik - Will probably be too expensive
LD N.Schultz
RW D.Setoguchi
LD R.Klesla
C S.Ott ** Will probably be too expensive for a bottom 6 role
RD M.Niskanen - Will probably be too expensive, too offensively focused for my plan
LD N.Nikitin **** $2,300,000 for 2-3 years
LW D.Penner ***
RW D.Winnik **** $2,000,000 for 2-3 years
C B.Boyle **** $2,000,000 for 2-3 years
LD C.Butler
LW Taylor Pyatt **** $1,600,000 over 2 years
LD A.Belov
RD M.Fayne **** $1,600,000 over 2 years (or, whatever his agent wants! I expect big things from Mark)
LW B.Pouliot
LD C.Stoner
LD P.Ranger
LW M.Raymond 19/26/45 *** surprising point total - surprisingly A LOT of shots against though
RD N.Prosser
C Blair Jones (AHL callup) *** $700,000 2W over 2 years
LD M.Caruso (AHL callup) *** $700,000 2W over 2 years
RW S.Machacek (AHL callup) *** $650,000 2W over 2 years
LW C.Pierre-Labrie (AHL callup) *** $650,000 2W over 2 years
C C.Bass (AHL callup) high PIM
C. B.Holmstrom (AHL callup) high PIM
LD T.J.Brennan (AHL callup)
RD B.Parlett (AHL level)
LD C.Breen (AHL level, maybe callup)
LD K.Medvec (AHL level)
RW C.McMillan (AHL level, maybe callup)
G Jeremy Smith (AHL callup) **** $600,000 2W over 2 years
LD C.Summers (AHL callup)
LD B.Mikkelson (AHL callup)
RW P.Thompson (AHL level)
LD A.Campbell (AHL level, maybe callup)


Draft June 27-28
Team Needs for 3-5 years out: Scoring Forward, Power Forward, Agitator Forward, Goalie, 2W Defensemen
Targets for each round in the order I would choose -
1st: W Nick Ritchie, W Jake Virtanen, W Brendan Perlini
2nd: W Brandon Lemieux (yes, Claude's son), D Joshua Jacobs, W Adrian Kempe
3rd: W Matthew Mistele (Plymouth Whalers connection), D Dominik Masin, C Colby Cave, D Brandon Hickey
4th (2 picks): D Jacob Middleton, W Blake Clarke, W Austin Poganski, W Beau Starrett, C Alex Pepin
5th: G Ville Husso, G Maximillian Pajpach, G Karel Vejmelka, W Mike Amadio
6th: (No Pick)
7th: C Nolan Stevens (son of Jay Stevens), W Chase Lang, C Chandler Yakimowicz


June 30th RFA tender deadline
N.Spaling $1,750,000 over 2
A.Loktionov $761,250 over 2
N.Gerbe $605,000 over 1
G.Nemisz $725,000 2W over 2
J.Shugg $675,000 2W over 2
Z.Boychuk $650,000 2W over 1
M.Jordan $625,000 2W over 2

A.Palushaj, T.Kivisto, Jared Staal, K.Tochkin not tendered


July 1st Start of Free Agency
LW M.Michalek ***** $3,500,000 for 2-3 years
Corsi For of 52.2%, 29 year old fast, scoring forward, whose scoring was down this past season.
Not great defensively, but has played PK. Expecting a move back towards his statistical average.
Health gets knocked, but didn't miss a single game this past season.
LD N.Nikitin **** $2,300,000 for 2-3 years
2nd best Corsi of Columbus Dmen. Has size and can move the puck well.
27 year old who I think is ready for a larger minute role. Not flashy but can get the job done.
RW D.Winnik **** $2,000,000 for 2-3 years
He's been used as a shutdown RW while picking up a good number of assists for that role last season.
I think he can be given his defensive role along with a larger offensive supporting role with the right linemates.
C Brian Boyle **** $2,000,000 for 2-3 years
-The- shutdown Center
LW Taylor Pyatt **** $1,600,000 over 2 years
He's been used as a shutdown LW lately but can score.
RD M.Fayne **** $1,600,000 over 2 years or whatever it takes
26 year old puck mover with sound defensive positioning and size. This offseason's Sekera value/cost player
Corsi for of 55.3% (3rd best among D), while being used as the 2nd most defensive D in NJ.
C Blair Jones (AHL callup) *** $700,000 2W over 2 years
2 Way forward can play all 3 forward spots, had 38 points in 38 games in AHL,
and 2 goals in 14 games in NHL while taking only 47% of the puck drops on the offensive zone
LD M.Caruso (AHL callup) *** $700,000 2W over 2 years
25 year old Dman who is physical and could serve as an alternate callup with Jordan at LD
RW S.Machacek (AHL callup) *** $650,000 2W over 2 years
Gritty 25 year old RW with 19 goals and 33 points in 56 AHL games and solid 2 way play
LW C.Pierre-Labrie (AHL callup) *** $650,000 2W over 2 years
27 year old blue collar physical depth LW
G Jeremy Smith (AHL callup) **** $600,000 2W over 2 years
25 year old goalie who has had success at the AHL level, listed as works hard to improve his game


2014-2015
Sep 1st Organizational Depth Chart
NHL Forwards - Some statistical swing towards the norm is expected!
1st: LW A.Loktionov - C J.Staal - RW A.Semin Two-Way Cycling Line, 15-17 minutes per game
2nd: LW M.Michalek - C E.Staal - RW D.Winnik Two-Way go to the net Line, 15-17 minutes per game
3rd: LW J.Skinner - C N.Spaling - RW E.Lindholm Striking/Scoring Line, 13-17 minutes per game
4th: LW Tay.Pyatt - C B.Boyle - RW P.Dwyer Shutdown Line, 13-15 minutes per game
rotating players: N.Gerbe, M.Malholtra

NHL Defense
1st: LD A.Sekera - RD M.Fayne very strong positionally, good puck movement
2nd: LD N.Nikitin - RD J.Faulk strong positionally, good puck movement
3rd: LD R.Hainsey - RD B.Bellemore good positionally, good puck movement (got a theme going on)
rotating player: LD J.Harrison

NHL Goalies
A.Khudobin
O.Pavelec


AHL Forwards under contract
1st: LW B.McGinn - C V.Rask - RW S.Machacek
2nd: LW C.Sandlak - C Bro.Sutter - RW J.Shugg
3rd: LW P.Di Giuseppe - C P.Cormier - RW A.Brassard
4th: LW B.Woods - C P.Brown - RW G.Nemisz
rotating players: LW C.Pierre-Labrie - C B.Jones - C Z.Boychuk

AHL Defense under contract
1st: LD M.Jordan - RD D.Biega
2nd: LD K.Lowe - RD R.Murphy
3rd: LD A.Levi - RD M.Corrente
rotating players: LD M.Caruso - RD D.Robertson
org depth: RD B.Schmitz

AHL Goalies under contract

Jeremy Smith
D.Altshuller


Sep 1st Team Assessment (cap hit = $64,049,663) -
Key Forwards - E.Staal, A.Semin, J.Staal, J.Skinner
Key Defensemen - A.Sekera, J.Faulk

Core Role Forwards - M.Michalek, P.Dwyer, D.Winnik, N.Spaling, Tay.Pyatt, B.Boyle
Core Role Defensemen - M.Fayne, N.Nikitin, R.Hainsey, J.Harrison

Goalies - A.Khudobin, O.Pavelec

Additional NHL Forwards - M.Malholtra, N.Gerbe
Additional NHL Defensemen -

Promising NHL Ready Young Forwards - E.Lindholm, A.Loktionov
Promising NHL Ready Young Defensemen - B.Bellemore

NHL Replacement Level Forwards in AHL - C.Pierre-Labrie, B.Jones, S.Machacek, (Z.Boychuk for scoring role)
NHL Replacement Level Defensemen in AHL - M.Corrente, M.Jordan, M.Caruso

Promising Almost NHL Ready Young Forwards -
Promising Almost NHL Ready Young Defensemen - R.Murphy

Promising Young Forwards in Organization - V.Rask, B.McGinn, S.Tolchinsky, P.Di Giuseppe, J.Shugg,
P.Brown, C.Sandlak, G.Nemisz, B.Woods, Brody Sutter, P.Cormier, A.Brassard
Promising Young Defensemen in Organization - D.Biega, K.Lowe, A.Levi, D.Robertson
Promising Young Goalies in Organization - D.Altshuller

Depth Forwards in Organization -
Depth Defense in Organization - B.Schmitz
Depth Goalies in Organization -

Promising Young Forwards in minors - B.Pedersen, B.Collier, E.Karlsson, G.Hofmann
Promising Young Defensemen in minors - T.Carrick, J.Slavin, B.Pesce, T.Ganly
Promising Young Goalies in minors - C.Olson
PLUS the team's 2014 draft picks

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