Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.
Let’s get to it.
Any ideas who the Canes target at No. 5 in the Draft? – Gregg W. (@nhbeast)
Now that the Hurricanes’ position in the 2015 NHL Draft is #CONFIRMED, it only makes sense that we initially explore this question, though we’ll definitely revisit it in a couple of months as we break down and profile potential picks.
As it stands, it looks as though one of Noah Hanifin, Dylan Strome, Lawson Crouse or Mitchell Marner, among others, may be available for taking in the fifth slot. Hanifin, an American defensive stud, seems to be a popular choice at No. 3, but defensemen can be a fickle bunch; because they typically have a longer development process, some shy away from selecting them so high. Take Seth Jones, for instance, who was labeled the top prospect in 2013 but was selected fourth overall by Nashville.
Just as Hanifin often lands at No. 3 in mock drafts, both Mike Morreale and Adam Kimelman of NHL.com have Strome going to Toronto at No. 4. If that plays out, that leaves Crouse or Marner, as previously mentioned, or perhaps Mikko Rantanen or Pavel Zacha still on the board at No. 5.
Without diving too deep into scouts’ notes or scouting reports – we’ll do that here on CarolinaHurricanes.com in June leading up to the Draft – I’d be inclined to select Crouse, who is already 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. That’s a big boy, and General Manager Ron Francis is not one to shy away from size (and skill, of course).
What is the most likely scenario for Alexander Semin going down the road? – Brian K. (@Pnugz)
This question was posed to Francis and head coach Bill Peters in their end-of-season news conference, and this was the response from Francis: “We’ll certainly look at all of the options we have moving forward, have those discussions and make the decision we think is best for the organization.”
Semin, who has a world-class shot and an elite skillset, ranked 12th on the Canes in scoring with 19 points in 57 games. Once a 40-goal-scorer, Semin found the back of the net just six times in 2014-15.
“It was a tough season for the team and me,” he said in an English-speaking end-of-season interview. “I don’t know what happened with me this year.”
He was asked about his abnormally low goal total.
“It’s not great for me. I had surgery last summer, and maybe that’s the problem,” he said. “The last half of the season, I felt great. I had more shots, and I felt better. I hope next season I feel right.”
The 31-year-old winger has three years remaining on his $35 million contract. The question for the Canes then, as they weigh all possible options, is: can Semin relocate his elite scoring touch, or is it time to move on via a trade or buy out?
I’m not sure what the most likely scenario is moving forward; it’s a question truly above my pay grade. It would be a rather pricey buy out, and who is to say that he can’t be a 20- or 30-goal scorer again in this league? He can still do this …
… and he can also do this.
What happens with the hats that get thrown on the ice when someone scores a hat trick? – CT Edwards (@MustangCT)
When the hats shower down onto the ice from the stands, one of the best traditions in sports, they are first collected by the ice crew. Then, the hats are frozen in order to kill any hair-borne germs. Finally, they are donated. The players can choose the charity, and the hats typically make their way to local children’s hospitals.
Stick tap to our community relations gurus Doug Warf and Gabby Pinto for shedding some light on this process.
New STAR WARS trailer, BATMAN V SUPERMAN trailer … Thoughts? – Lee P. (@BackHandBarDown)
So, confession: I’m not the biggest fan of the DC and Marvel flicks. Just not my thing. I liked Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy because, well, it’s Nolan. Other than that, I haven’t seen many, and I don’t really care to. But, the trailer for BATMAN V SUPERMAN looks pretty impressive, and I might have to check it out.
Now, STAR WARS. My goodness. The trailers we have seen are just amazing. I am so excited for this film and have been since the day it was announced, even before we knew JJ Abrams would direct or Lawrence Kasdan (with Abrams) would write or that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were all on board. Dec. 18 cannot come soon enough, and whether the team is in Raleigh or on the road, I will find a theatre and see it immediately.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you have an advance copy of the new STAR WARS flick, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).