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Tweetmail No. 145: Value, On the Road & Outdoor Games

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on 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.

Tweet from @SirBenjamin63: @MSmithCanes How would you gauge the value of our draft picks in this year's draft? Whether to pick players or to use in trades.

As we've already seen in the trade for Scott Darling, having 11 picks across seven rounds of the NHL Draft is extremely valuable. Even after that trade, the Hurricanes currently hold 10 picks, including six in the first three rounds.

These carry value regardless of how they're used. If the Hurricanes choose to keep all 10, that's 10 prospects the team can add to its already talented stable. And, as already demonstrated, the picks could also be used to acquire other, more NHL-ready pieces.

It's a great "problem" to have, these extra picks. The Canes' amateur scouting team will meet in Raleigh beginning June 5 to gather together their draft board, among other discussion topics. The scouts will prepare as if the team will make all 10 picks, and then it will be a matter of waiting to see exactly how many the Canes bring to the draft floor on June 23-24 in Chicago.

I would think, especially with five picks across the second and third rounds and the looming ins and outs of the expansion draft, that additional moves could be made in order to flip those picks for other assets. We'll find out in a short month whether or not that inclination proves accurate.

Speaking of the draft …

Tweet from @PatClarke27: @MSmithCanes Since you���ve traveled there with the team(?), do you have any recommendations for anyone going to the Draft in Chicago? #Tweetmail

Yes, I have been there with the team in each of the last three seasons. The problem - at least, as far as recommendations are concerned - is that the team has played the Blackhawks on the tail end of a back-to-back set in the last two seasons, so our time in the city has unfortunately been limited. So, my lone recommendation comes from my lunch spot this past season: Velvet Taco, which is where these three beauties came from. I'll most likely be returning for lunch this summer.

Chicago is a bustling city, though, so there will be plenty of attractive options. Anyone else making the trek up to the Windy City for the NHL Draft?

Tweet from @crogersak13: @MSmithCanes How many hotel rooms does the team take when on the road? Break down of team meals, how does that work?

Hotel room accommodations were amended in the most recent collective bargaining agreement, which now stipulates the following: "Any Player on an SPC who is not in the Entry Level System shall be entitled to single room accommodations for all Club road trips."

Dissecting that legalese, it means players not on an entry-level contract get their own room on the road. Prior to 2013, only players who had logged 600 games or 10 years in the NHL were afforded the luxuries of a single room.

So, the amount of rooms blocked off for the Hurricanes on any given trip depends on what the roster looks like and how many staff are traveling. As you can imagine, though, there are a lot more single rooms now than there were four years ago. In fact, with a quick scan of the 2016-17 roster, most would have been paired up with a roommate. The game has, indeed, changed.

In regards to meals, here's a rundown of the typical 7 p.m. gameday set-up: following the morning skate/stretch/meeting, a team lunch is served, and then, prior to the team leaving for the rink in the afternoon, a snack is available. That's it as far as team meals at the hotel are concerned. Outside of that, sometimes on practice days, a player will buy lunch for the team.

Tweet from @jbkellner: Hey @MSmithCanes, you know @DaleJr - do you think you could arrange for him to drop the rag, I mean drop the puck? #Tweetmail

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I mean, at least for a Hurricanes-Predators outdoor game. Dale Jr. we can work on. I might know a guy.

But, seriously. The Winter Classic turns 10 this season, and between that event and the newer Stadium Series offshoot, just a handful of teams that haven't participated in an outdoor game remain. The Hurricanes are one of them. The Predators are another. Though the teams are in different conferences, they share regional similarities, and with rabid fan bases in both cities, an outdoor game between the two would be a hit. The possible temperate weather wouldn't be a problem; that much was settled with staging outdoor games in California. The game might not have the coveted national draw, but it could easily succeed regionally. It would be a perfect Stadium Series match-up, whether it was played at Bristol or Carter-Finley Stadium or Nissan Stadium or literally right on Broadway or anywhere in between.

But I'm just the web guy, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered or you'd like to discuss a favorite moment from the finale of "Lost," which aired seven years ago last night, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.

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