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.
This is a good question, a timely one considering the team's current offensive funk, and a question that many teams probably consider each and every season.
I don't think the answer on offense can be found in the draft, at least where the Hurricanes could potentially pick, or in the system right now. There's offensive talent in Charlotte and beyond, no doubt - Julien Gauthier and Nicolas Roy are two, for example, that possess exciting potential - but that's not going to be an immediate answer.
That leaves trades and free agency. Free agency can be an unpredictable gamble, especially with a 31st club involved this year; the dollar amounts could get skewed or the talent pool could be thin. And, many teams aren't going to be comfortable letting a proven scorer walk. But, they might be more apt to part with offensive talent if there are getting something in return - aha, a trade! Perhaps there is a team with a scorer that is looking to bolster its defense with quality, young talent. The Hurricanes have that in spades. The question becomes: what are the Hurricanes willing to give up in order to acquire x, y or z?
Head coach Bill Peters was asked after the bye week about potential personnel moves.
"We want to keep our group together. I do, for sure. I know the group in the room is very tight. I believe in this group," he said. "We like our D. I believe that's our foundation moving forward. You can't rob Peter to pay Paul. That doesn't make any sense in my opinion."
A trade may be the Hurricanes' best route for acquiring offensive talent. We'll see. One week remains until the trade deadline, and this summer should be rather interesting, especially factoring in the expansion draft and the Vegas Golden Knights in the mix.
Bryan Bickell, who has missed 48 games after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, continues to skate with the Hurricanes in practice, but Peters has not shared a concrete timetable for his return, if one even exists at this point.
I know one thing for sure, though: we all are rooting for him to rejoin the Hurricanes on the ice.
Asked in late January about Bickell's potential return, Peters said this: "The human spirit is a powerful thing. We'll see."
And, indeed, that's what we've seen.
Now that he's been skating with the Canes in practice for over a month now, a return this season could certainly be possible if everything checks out health-wise. Bickell seemed optimistic just prior to the bye week, and here was Peters' take on it:
"I'll tell you what: he's done everything he possibly can to get himself ready and get back at it, so we'll see where it leads," he said. "It's an unreal source of inspiration, and his attitude has been fantastic through this whole thing. I give him nothing but credit there."
(I stole this question from @NHLCanes. Shhh! Don't tell them!)
Great to hear you'll be joining us for Casino Night tonight! It's a great time, and you'll have a blast. Cocktail attire is recommended, and it's a bonus if you can tie in your outfit to this year's theme, which is Mardi Gras. There will probably be beads.
Who else has their tickets for tonight's Kids 'N Community Foundation's signature event? If you don't, there's still time! You can buy tickets online at Ticketmaster until 4 p.m. or at PNC Arena all day. The event begins at 7 p.m., and all proceeds benefit the Foundation.
No, I haven't seen him around this season.
But! You will see Gleason soon because he'll be making his Alumni Game debut in mid-March, joining Sean Hill, Jeff Daniels and Tim Brent as other first-time Canes participants. The Alumni Game, now in its sixth year, will be held on Sunday, March 12 at 1:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free to the general public with donations to the Kids 'N Community Foundation accepted at the door. More information on the event, which is always a fun afternoon for participants and fans alike, can be found here.
Next Wednesday is not only a gameday but also trade deadline day. So, Tweetmail will take another week off, and we'll regroup again here on March 8 to get this back on a weekly schedule moving forward. Join me then for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you'd like answered or you'd like to discuss "24: Legacy," you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.