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Tweetmail No. 147: Scouts, Homegrown & Cord Cutting

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 @FinnWinn: The scouting meetings: who are these guys? Where are they 'stationed' or do they move around? Travel internationally? Did I see Joni?!?!

Let's talk amateur scouting meetings!

We'll start first with a behind-the-scenes look at how Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis opened the proceedings on Monday.

Video: Hurricanes Amateur Scouts Meetings Get Underway

The gentlemen you saw in the room in that video are a collection of the team's amateur scouting staff and management team, including Francis and his group of assistant general managers. Tony MacDonald is the organization's Director of Amateur Scouting, so he heads up all the pre-draft planning that occurs each June. Throughout this week, the scouts and management team will meet to discuss the draft-eligible prospects they've been scouting for at least the past year. At the end of the week, the team will have assembled a final list they will take to Chicago for the seven rounds of player selection on June 23-24.

All of the people you see in that room have, at one point or another over the past year, scouted players in some capacity. Even Francis himself makes it a point to travel and get a look for himself at some of these players. But, it's mainly the amateur scouting staff that's responsible for tracking and assessing this stock of teenage hockey players. Each scout has his specialty: some focus on college players, some focus on junior players. Some specialties are more regional: Robert Kron tracks European skaters, for instance.

And yes, you saw Joni Pitkanen in the room. He's been doing some part-time European scouting for the Hurricanes and is back in town this week for meetings.

Speaking of the amateur scout meetings …

Tweet from @MattCannon94: Since this draft is not as strong as previous ones, do you see the Canes trading their 1st pick this year for an established player?

It's a real possibility that the Hurricanes look to make a draft-related move. After all, the team still holds 10 picks in this year's draft, including six picks in the first three rounds alone. Francis even touched on as much with the scouts in the video above.

"To be honest with you, I'm hoping we don't use all 10 when it comes to the draft," he explained to the room. "We have had contact with other teams and told them we are willing to make some deals and give up some of the picks to get players."

Now, whether that happens remains to be seen; it takes two to tango, of course, and the trade will have to make sense for both sides. But I've gone on record saying - just two Tweetmails ago, in fact - that I think there are still moves to be made to acquire assets now.

Tweet from @eatRaleigh: Is Homegrown returning next season?

Yes, the Hurricanes Homegrown Series will be returning for a second season.

That's about the extent of the details we have at this point. We have some preliminary ideas for next season that will get beat up and fleshed out internally over the next few weeks and months - ideas ranging from the next iteration of food items to bigger ideas of how we can grow the series. And once the NHL schedule is released at some point in the coming weeks, we'll have a better idea of what the Homegrown schedule might look like.

What would you like to see this season? Let us know in the comments below.

Tweet from @peterwalz: Recently cancelled satellite. Canes were main reason waited. Will there be new options for cord cutters to watch Canes games in 2017-18?

I may not be the best resource for this since I am a Time Warner Cable Spectrum customer, but the landscape for how we consume media is shifting, and cord-cutting is a growing alternative to your standard cable or satellite option. So, I'm here to help!

The bad news: live sports, and especially live sports on regional networks, are hard(er) to find via cord cutting. The good news: there are a growing number of options. If you are within the Hurricanes viewing area, both Sling TV (through their Blue tier) and Hulu with Live TV offer regional FOX Sports programming. And, of course, there is FOX Sports GO, which requires you to have a paid subscription that offers said regional networks. If you're not in the Hurricanes viewing area, a subscription to is your ticket.

Cord cutters: if I'm missing an option, drop it in the comments below.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered or you were as disappointed in the majority of the second season of "Twin Peaks" as I am, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.

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