With deadline day finally here, it’s still hard to say whether or not the Canes will make a move.
I don’t think Jim Rutherford’s outlook from last week
will have changed much today, but what certainly has changed is the price and availability of certain players around the league. In the right situation, he may just make a move to bolster his lineup. Even though the GM has said he doesn’t necessarily expect
anything to happen, it’s not like he’s sitting in his office playing solitaire. He’ll be busy, one way or another.
Practice has been cancelled today on the heels of last night’s impressive 5-2 win in Washington, which creates a little more mystery. In a year where players are being held out of games for precautionary reasons, we won’t be able to freak out about the suspicious absence of Player X or potentially see someone leave the ice surface and rush to the airport.
Speaking of last night’s win, could that change the organization’s philosophy heading into today? If anything, I think the Canes could be more likely to pull the trigger on a deal that could help them get into the postseason, after having seen such an encouraging performance on the ice. Had they lost that game, their second in a row, that wouldn’t necessarily be the case.
However, it’s important to note that “rental” type players are in high-demand and could require a high price. I’ve seen the Hurricanes linked with someone like Mark Recchi in recent weeks, which makes sense on many levels, but a contending team looking to make a run at the Stanley Cup right now would greatly value his experience and may be willing to sacrifice more to get him in the fold.
Then there’s the waiver situation, with a number of notable players hitting the wire yesterday. I wouldn’t put a ton of stock into that, at least as far as the Canes are concerned, because they would much rather acquire a player via trade and offset some salary. Think Jussi Jokinen, who the Canes could have claimed twice on waivers, but needed to trade for instead.
Besides what the Canes are going to do, there are a few key situations involving other teams in the Eastern Conference playoff race, which could potentially affect what the Canes do today.
What will Florida do with Jay Bouwmeester? If I were them, I would trade him – a player of his caliber could fetch a good enough haul that might not hurt too much in the short run, plus you avoid the risk of losing him in the summer for nothing.
Will Buffalo shore up their goaltending with Ryan Miller injured? Patrick Lalime has looked good enough in his two recent games against the Canes, but the Sabres have fallen to the bottom of the pack in recent weeks.
Montreal, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers have already made some moves, but are they done?
Interesting situations abound – stay tuned today for updates and analysis from both in-house and around the league. Also, feel free to send in some questions – if enough interesting ones come in, I'll put together some mini Q&A’s throughout the day.