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A Third Look at Bobby Sanguinetti, Riley Nash, and Jonathan Matsumoto

One of the great things about working in a network of blogs like SB Nation is that you can easily reach out to other writers who have a close working knowledge of the teams they cover and ask them for their opinions about players you might not be very familiar with. 

Regarding a couple of the following players, I didn't even have to reach out.  The bloggers were thoughtful enough to email me their unsolicited view of the players who were just traded from their clubs.    

I thought Canes Country readers would be interested in what they had to say.

First we will check out some feedback from Jim of the  Blueshirt Banter as he offered his opinion about Bobby Sanguinetti, the defenseman just acquired from the New York Rangers.

Bobby Sanguinetti

New York Rangers



Feb 29, 1988

Bobby showed up to training camp out of shape.  (Summer vacation, Jersey kid, Jersey shore...stuff happens) and Torts was upset.  And once you get on Tort's bad side, it's hard to get off of it. But one bad camp should not define a career and the kid has a ton of talent and could really be a keeper for you guys.  When the Rangers drafted him, he was looked upon as a potential savior...  local kid, played for team USA in junior championships, first round pick, what could be better?  But when he turned out not to be a superstar immediately, many fans turned on him.  Of course it takes longer for defensemen to develop but some fans were impatient.  That's why some of the negative backlash about him now. 

Anyway, I think the kid could play for the Canes next season.  Plus he has a previous relationship with McBain,  they both played on one of the USA Junior teams.  Who knows, they could be something special together. 

In the meantime, we get to keep watching Wade Redden.


Next up is Derek from Copper and Blue as he offers information about Riley Nash.

Riley Nash

Edmonton Oilers



May 09, 1989

First, check out this indepth analysis of his progress written back in February. He has had some ups and downs in college, but most seem to think he is still a good prospect. 

This paragraph was from the Oilers website:

"He got off to a little bit of a slow start.  It’s starting to wear on him a little bit. He’s going to sign a pro contract which wears on kids. Over the last three to four weeks he’s picked his game up. He’s an intelligent player. He’s smart, he’s got great hands, and he does all those little things well...  We’ll talk to him, he’s well aware of what our thoughts are and where he should be.  As we get to the end of the year when we have our organizational meetings, we’ll sit down and figure it out. Maybe it’s time to take him out and bite the bullet a little bit with him or should we just let him go for his fourth year next year with Cornell. Overall, he’s starting to play a lot better now."

This is what Derek had to say yesterday:

He's a smart kid.  Really smart kid.  And the Oilers hated the fact he wouldn't leave Cornell to go to the AHL.  They started slamming him in the press, claiming that he wasn't developing, he wasn't playing enough hockey, he wasn't getting enough exposure...

I think he's going to be a very good #2 center, especially if the team he ends up on has a tough-minutes center.

Bottom line, the Oilers were upset he stayed in college and wanted him to sign a pro contract.  For whatever reason he did not.  Now the Canes will see what they can do with him.


Another interesting trade acquisition during the weekend that we have not talked much about is Jonathan Matsumoto, from the Flyers organization.  Matsumoto was a consistent scorer in the AHL and netted 30 goals last season and 89 goals during the past three, but he never got a sniff of the NHL.   

Jonathan Matsumoto

Philadelphia Flyers



Oct 13, 1986

The Canes acquired him at such a cheap price, (7th rounder), because he will be a free agent on July 1 and he needs a contract.  Hopefully, he sees some benefit in giving the Hurricanes organization a try and will sign a deal quickly.

Travis, from Broad Street Hockey had this to say:

Matsumoto had a pretty rough go of things in the Flyers organization. For three seasons, he was consistently one of the best, if not the best, players on the Phantoms, but he never once got the call to join the big club, whether it be as a black ace in the playoffs or as an injury call-up during the regular season. He certainly deserved it over several of the other guys who did get chances, but it appeared the Flyers organization had soured on him. Why? Who knows, really, but that appeared to be the case. Either way, he never really had a true chance here anyway, as the NHL roster is completely stacked at center.

In any event, I'm sure he's happy to get out of the organization and  he's hoping he'll finally get his chance. His loss hurts the Phantoms next season, but he'll fit in well in Charlotte, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him playing with the Hurricanes at some point. He has a ton of skill.


Many thanks to Jim, Derek, and Travis for their input.