Welcome to the third installment of the FutureCanes mailbag! I figured after a super exciting finish to what was a rollercoaster Game 1 vs the Rangers, this would be the perfect time for a mailbag to see where the Caniacs are at mentally after such a wild game. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
1) Can we wait with the "goalie controversy" until after our last game of the postseason?— Isabel* (@isabelschmtzlr) May 20, 2022
2) looking back at the last couple of games, would you give Bear a shot? If so, when and who sits?
1 - Most of the noise is just Twitter banter. I’m not putting much stock into the situation yet at all. Raanta has been brilliant in the postseason, Andersen was brilliant during the regular season, and Kochetkov is a brilliant prospect at age 22. Both Raanta and Andersen have had trouble staying healthy over the years, so I would bank on the Hurricanes retaining both of them and all 3 of this trio seeing game action next year.
2 - I would’ve said yes, but then Ian Cole scored the Game 1 OT winner. Still not a huge fan of how he’s played in these playoffs — he’s slow, and while he has been physical, his defensive zone coverage has been extremely lackluster at times. I just don’t think you can bench him after scoring that goal, and RBA won’t mess with winning lines. And while I do think Bear could be effective in this series, he hasn’t played in a while and you’ve gotta wonder where his legs are at.
Who do you see staying on the team who do you see leaving the team any new canes prospects from the wolves that you see being added— Brandy (@brandy_garciaaa) May 20, 2022
I’ll be writing a “Stay or Go” piece for each of the Canes’ UFAs and RFAs after the season concludes, so I’ll go much deeper into detail then. It’ll be worth the wait!
As for Wolves that I could see getting promoted next year, I think both Jack Drury and Joey Keane could become NHL regulars if they look the part in training camp. Pyotr Kochetkov will likely play a handful of NHL games next year as well. But my wild card is defenseman Jesper Sellgren. He’s got the skating ability and hockey smarts to play at any level, and could be a sneaky good (and cheap) option on the third pairing.
Scenario : Raanta continues his incredible play throughout playoffs. Do the Canes use that leverage to deal him at max value, and ride Freddie and Kochetkov next year?— Caniac-J. (1-0) (@Jordan_Mcvay) May 20, 2022
I’ve seen this scenario presented quite a lot and frankly, I’m confused by it. Assuming that Raanta can continue his current level of play, why on earth would you be comfortable with trading a goaltender playing the best hockey of his career, and signed for an extreme bargain at just $2M next season.
With the Canes likely set to be a contender again next year, what could you possibly get for him that would exceed the value he’d bring to the group? Canes are loaded with futures already. Factor in the injury history, unavailability and prior playoff inconsistency that surrounds Andersen, and I think it would be insane to move Raanta.
What can Svech do better to get it going, in your opinion?— y-Brayden Flanagan (@FlantheMan43) May 20, 2022
I think Svech just needs to keep at it, keep doing what he does and the results will come. He’s too good to stay in a funk. The main thing is that he’s still battling, still playing physical, and still trying to make things happen. He’ll get rewarded eventually.
Where in the lineup will Necas have the best opportunity to find his offensive firepower again?— y-Alex Harper (@rcktman0127) May 20, 2022
The press box.
No but seriously, I’m not sure. When the Canes switched the lines up in the third period and overtime in game one, Necas looked like he had some jump playing with his old mates in Svech and Trocheck. Confidence is the biggest issue for Necas right now. He’s trying to do too much as an individual — which may be a product of playing on the fourth line — but he needs to settle down and let his natural ability take over. There’s not many guys that can make plays at his pace in this league. He’s gifted, and just needs to keep working through it. But he needs to simplify things a little.
Would you trade Raanta after the season with his value probably peaked and Kochetkov in the wings?— Andrew Schnittker (@aschnitt53) May 20, 2022
I feel like this is kind of a repeat question but I just really need to stress this answer. Raanta has been the guy that your team has been able to depend on when you’ve needed him most. He’s been healthy and available in these playoffs (aside the Pastrnak collision) and has delivered elite-level goaltending.
If you trade him, you’re betting on Freddie Andersen — who, yes, had a phenomenal season — but he’ll be 33 in October and was plagued with inconsistent playoff performances his entire career in Toronto; and a kid in Kochetkov who’s played just a few games at the NHL level. I feel like Raanta has more value to the Canes than he does as a trade chip, especially if you want to contend for the Cup again next season.
Do you think the canes will play freddie or raanta when hes healthy?— ᎭᎾ (@fuelfirenino) May 20, 2022
Roll with the hot hand. Andersen hasn’t skated in over a month — at this point, I’m not even sure he’ll be ready in these playoffs. But in the meantime, Raanta has earned the crease and the team should ride him as far as he can take them.
Does the goal in Game 1 get AHO going?— Y- ️icNic (@nickleelamm) May 20, 2022
I sure hope so. To me, he just hasn’t looked right since the collision with Charlie McAvoy. Have to assume he’s banged up a little, because he just hasn’t looked like his normal self. Let’s hope that the goal he scored is a major morale boost for him — because the Canes need him at his absolute best if they want to get to the promised land.
If I would have put down $10 for Ian Cole to score the OT winner, would I be able to purchase the Carolina Hurricanes franchise?— TylerPunllock (@TylerPunllock) May 20, 2022
Dude, you probably would’ve won enough to purchase the entire NHL. The longest of longshots.
As always, thanks for reading, and a huge thank you to everyone who submitted questions this week. If you missed out, don’t forget to follow me @FutureCanes on Twitter to submit your question(s) for the next installment!