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Tweetmail No. 73: Predictions, Numbers & Scouts

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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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.

Ah, yes. It’s the dog days of summer when all is (mostly) quiet around the league, so people start making lists and predictions and lists of predictions. So, why not? Let’s jump in on the fun. I won’t offer a prediction on standings, but I can at least play along with this question regarding the Hurricanes’ point total for 2015-16.

I’m going to set the over/under for points at 85. That’s slightly above hockey .500 and nearly five points higher than the Canes’ average (prorated in the 48-game shortened season) over the last five seasons.

And I’m going to take the over.

I don’t think that’s unreasonable to expect. It would mark an improvement of 15 points over last season, something that I believe is within reach if the team can avoid the prolonged slumps, like the 0-6-2 marker in October, it experienced last season.

What makes the cut for the playoffs? Last season, it was 97 points in the West and 98 in the East, or at least a .591 points percentage. The Metropolitan Division is once again going to be very competitive, and the Hurricanes are going to have to be markedly more consistent to get back into the postseason. I won’t go so far as to make a prediction on a playoff berth – that’s why you play the games, as they say – but I will take the over on 85 points.

What do you think? Over or under on 85 points? Playoffs? Let us know in the comments below.

I don’t think so.

While it’s true Faulk originally wore the No. 28 with the Hurricanes in the 2011-12 season, keep in mind that Derek Joslin had already laid claim to the No. 27. When Joslin joined the team in February of 2011, the 27 sweater belonged to Brett Carson (who was claimed on waivers 10 days later), so Joslin wore the No. 33 until the following season.

In the summer of 2012, the Canes bought out the final year of Joslin’s contract. Faulk made the switch from 28 to 27 shortly after, prior to Alexander Semin being signed in late July and wearing the No. 28.

Plus, @JustinFaulk27 would (temporarily) lose his blue check mark if he had to change his Twitter handle, and no one wants that.

On a related note, the Canes’ all-time roster by number is a fun (and handy) page in the media guide. For those interested, you can find it on page 208.

During the annual pre-draft scouting meetings, Tony MacDonald, the director of amateur scouting for the Hurricanes, mentioned to me that there were more people sitting around the table than in years past. And, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis, the team is looking to add a few more pieces to the scouting department.

“We did add another pro scout and amateur scout, and we’re looking at possibly doing some things, especially on the European front to get some more people on the ground over there,” he said in his press conference on July 1.

So, yes, the Canes have more eyes on more players and regions. Did that directly impact their selections at the 2015 NHL Draft, which included three high school players, matching the total the team has drafted in the previous five years combined? Perhaps. It was more so just how the picks fell.

“It was just a matter of where we had people on our list and the way we responded and reacted when their names came up,” MacDonald said after day two of the draft. “We had some of our guys back at the war room. They sat back at the hotel and watched this evolve. They were able to feed us information from there that sometimes is more difficult to communicate at the table.

“When we came to players like this, we had lots of good information available, and we had scouted these guys pretty thoroughly. They all have size and good skill,” he added. “We can afford to wait on these guys.”

78 days until the puck drops on the 2015-16 Hurricanes regular season!

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Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you have any tips for a first-time homebuyer, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).



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