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Mailbag #30: One Final Look Back

Who stood out this year? What led to the team's demise in the playoffs? What would you go back in time to change, if you could?

by Walt Ruff @WaltRuff /

RALEIGH, NC. - We're now officially 10 days without Carolina Hurricanes hockey. How does everyone feel about it?

The good news is that it is going to be a fast and eventful summer for the team.

We're already less than a month away from the draft, an incredibly important free agency period begins just days following and then shortly after we'll have a 2022-23 schedule.

After that we'll have just a few weeks of downtime and then boom, the early September Prospects Showcase will be here, leading right into training camp.

While all of that lies ahead, let's officially put one final bow on the 2021-22 campaign.


(Please Note: Some questions have been edited for clarity.)

If you were given a time machine, what's one thing you would go back in time to change for the 21/22 season? - @ArcherForCanes

Love this question.

My first thought is April 16 in Denver. While in no way, shape or form am I suggesting that Antti Raanta wasn't up to par in the postseason, we'll always have to live with the "What If?" regarding having a healthy Frederik Andersen.

As we know now an MCL tear ended his season during that night's 7-4 loss and one of the NHL's best statistical netminders from the regular season had no chance to help his team chase a Stanley Cup.



Had we won the conference semi-final would Frederik Andersen have been ready to play? - @DavidStLouis14

From the tone of his end of season availability, it sounded like the answer was yes, but of course, now we'll never know.

He saw substantial work in practice during the series against the Rangers, so it really was a day-to-day situation at that point.


Where do you believe the Canes really fell short in the postseason? Lack of scoring? PP/PK issues? All of the above? - @CaniacJohn

I think you hit the nail pretty well on the head there, John.

There were players who more was needed out of, the power play struggles were discussed at length and the league's regular season-best penalty kill was not operating at the same success rate.


Who stood out to you the most over the season? - @OneTrueZach

While you could certainly say Frederik Andersen here too, I think it's also hard not to say Seth Jarvis.

As Don Waddell said himself at his end of season media availability, in training camp most people were expecting him to be back with Portland of the Western Hockey League. Instead he wound up being one of the most impressive rookies in all of the NHL and was the team's best forward during his first Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In addition to his performance, how about his toughness? Beyond taking a heavy slapshot from Brendan Smith to a place where no man wants to get hit during the Boston series and then taking a Ryan Strome stick to the teeth just a week later, he also displayed all season long that he's not afraid to go hard in the corners and get to the front of the net.

There is so, so much to be excited about when it comes to his future.


Video: CAR@CHI: Jarvis tallies breakaway goal


Why did Noesen never get a real shot at the 3rd line RW this year? He basically led all of the AHL in goals and assists but never got a true look. Surprising to me. - @KristophrRClark

Undoubtedly Noesen's had an incredible year with Chicago.

To address the question directly, if we look at the Canes lineup with Niederreiter - Staal - Fast as the third line, him slotting in at RW3 was never going to happen. That trio was the most consistently together group of the whole season, from Opening Night on.

Where else could Noesen have drawn in though? That's the bigger question. For the sake of the ask, the options down the right, post-trade deadline, were Jarvis, Max Domi, and Martin Necas. Who comes out there?

As difficult a season as Necas had, Rod Brind'Amour expressed the desire for him to push through in hopes of him figuring things out and putting together a more consistent performance. And by that point, Noesen was already an integral part of Chicago's championship hopes.



Which call up do you think made the biggest impression on the team and management? - @emohrberg

This is another tremendous question.

There could be a variety of correct answers here, so forgive me, but I'm going to go with Jack Drury, Jalen Chatfield and Pyotr Kochetkov.

This was Drury's first professional season in North America. How'd he do? Marvelous, putting together an excellent season in the top developmental league, along with two goals in two games with the NHL club. He's already someone to have an eye on come time for training camp.

The same could be said for Chatfield. He had had some NHL experience with Vancouver before this being his first year with the organization, and fewer than four full months in he earned a two-year contract extension. He's absolutely somebody who will be battling for a spot on the right side full-time next year.

And lastly, how about the young man who won his first three NHL games under some wild circumstances? Then being thrust into four playoff games, just over three months after an unexpected turn brought him to North America? There's plenty to be excited about with his future, too.


Video: LAK@CAR: Drury scores in 3rd period


When do we get 2022-23 schedule? - @dsgill87

The agenda for today's mailbag was to keep the focus on the season that was, but I knew better than to think we wouldn't have Caniacs already looking ahead.

So, David, it sounds like the dominos will fall in the order of draft, free agency and then schedule this year.

The NHL Draft is July 7-8, free agency begins on July 13 at noon. Sometime shortly thereafter we'll know more.


Closing Up Shop

Thanks, as always, to everyone who took the time to submit a question or read today.

We'll do another one of these in two weeks, likely either looking ahead to the draft, free agency or both. Or a totally different theme, if you have a suggestion.



Not a member of Twitter? We're always happy to take questions at as well!

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Exit Interviews: Don Waddell & Rod Brind'Amour

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Exit Interviews: Raanta, Jarvis & Free Agents

Canes End Of Season Media Availability Videos

Exit Interviews: The Leadership Group

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Photo Gallery: End of Season Media Availabilities

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