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.
I probably could
But it would be very short
And no one would read
Ok, on to the meat of this thing! (And perhaps more haikus? But probably not. Maybe.)
I’m going to say Haydn Fleury for one reason only: out of the young defensemen left fighting for a roster spot – Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin and even Ryan Murphy – he’s the only player who cannot play in Charlotte this season, thanks to the transfer agreement between the NHL and CHL junior leagues that prevent a CHL player from playing in the AHL until he is 20.
Because of this restriction, he has to prove that he is undoubtedly ready to make the jump to the NHL.
From the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City through training camp, he’s had a good showing and remains with the big club for a reason. But there are still 10 blue-liners in camp, and only six are going to dress on a given night.
Ultimately, the decision on Fleury’s status may come down to this: is it better to have him be the sixth, seventh or eighth defenseman with the Hurricanes or play a key role with the Red Deer Rebels, who will also compete in the 2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup as tournament hosts? Not to mention, Fleury figures to be in the mix for Team Canada’s World Junior squad. The goal is to make the best decision for his long-term development, for him to have a good season on the ice wherever that may be.
I think Noah Hanifin makes the Opening Night roster. He’s been nothing short of impressive through his first two preseason games, though his second preseason game (vs. NYI) was better than his first (at PIT), and so was the team’s. He notched two assists in regulation and added another in the 3-on-3 demonstration in a 5-3 victory over the Islanders. It’s important to remember that he’s still just 18 years old. He’s going to make mistakes. But he’s also going to make plays as if he had the mind and skillset of a wily veteran. I think he makes the team come Oct. 8.
As a bonus, you know who I think would be a good asset for this team’s fourth line? Brock McGinn. His frame might be on the smaller side, but he’s quick and he hits like a truck. As he showed on his breakaway against Ottawa on Sunday, he can finish when called upon, and Peters praised him for doing the little things right, like hustling to negate an icing call or chipping the puck off the glass and out of the zone so the team can roll a line change. I’m curious to see if his body of work from Traverse City onward earns him an Opening Night roster spot, and if not, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in the Canes’ locker room at some point this season.
As always, the CanesVision staff has been hard at work this summer analyzing the in-game presentation and searching for ways to improve it.
As announced on Twitter Tuesday morning, Chris Edge from 95X (Raleigh’s New Rock Alternative) will serve as the team’s new in-game host, beginning with tonight’s preseason match-up against Washington.
On the video board, you’ll see some new player feature content in the regular season. Michelle McMahon did some fun, two-minute one-on-ones with players in the penalty box (get it?), Ask the Canes will be framed in a slightly different way and there’s a little something that involves kids’ drawings of Canes players.
And yes, the plan is to at least test a new tune after the goal horn blares and Ric Flair offers his signature “Woo!” This new ditty is different, catchy and still offers crowd interaction, as Blur’s “Song 2” does. Nothing has been finalized, but let us know what you think after hearing it.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
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is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email