By Matt Ross
The dog days of summer are dragging and along with it is the lack of hockey news. Teams have seemingly slammed on the brakes in terms of trades/signings and it’s made for some long days…
Keeping pace with the current (lack of) news, I’ll be upfront in saying that this blog has nothing new to report—just passing some time in between hockey hair Google searches.
After trading Jeff Skinner to the Sabres in return for three draft picks and forward Cliff Pu, there isn’t much coming out of Carolina. To be fair, they’ve had a very busy (and good) offseason. I’d put them right at the top in terms of one of the stronger offseasons by a team this summer.
One of the biggest moves they made came at the beginning of August when Jeff Skinner was sent north to Buffalo. Skinner has been at the center of trade rumors it seems every year and this time they finally pulled the trigger and shipped him out. This move kind of surprised me—especially since the Canes need scoring and he was doing a good portion of it over his tenure with them. Obviously the Hurricanes are going through a pretty major structural metamorphosis, one that involves tearing down and rebuilding the entire organization—from the front office to the product on the ice.
With all the changes, I have to agree a bit with Paul Bissonnette, AKA “BizNasty,” from the SpittinChicklets podcast when he expressed his shock in regards to the Skinner trade. Injuries aside, at 26, Skinner is still young and talented to be a key player in the team’s rebuild—at least from my perspective. I understand getting draft picks is vital, but there’s the obvious gamble in that, too. There’s no guarantee those picks will pan out. Granted, they’re good picks, so there’s higher probability that they will develop into NHL talent, but nothing is guaranteed. I guess they can also be used as chips for a potential trade down the line if need be, but it doesn’t give the Canes that NHL-now scoring punch upfront that I thought they were looking to get for #53.
So it would seem the return for Skinner puts focus on the future. With that in mind, enter: Justin Faulk.
Trade rumors have heavily swirled around the veteran blueliner lately. With the moves to upgrade Carolina’s defense this summer, Faulk seems to be on the outside looking in. It’s no secret that Defensemen are prized possessions and I would bet the Hurricanes are hoping for a team to overpay a bit for him with current or NHL-ready talent. I’d imagine he’d be able to bring a nice return back if he does in fact get moved prior to the season or at the deadline—personally, I’d love to see him in a Hawks sweater.
With the season approaching, hopefully there will be some cool news to break down. Either that or my next blog will be rating hockey hair throughout the ages—which would probably actually rule.
All for now.