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 question is incredibly relevant given Tuesday's news of Brett Pesce's six-year extension, which cements the duo of Jaccob Slavin and Pesce - a legitimate top pairing in the NHL - for the next seven seasons.
To quote a Carolina great, "the ceiling is the roof" for these two and the Canes' entire defense. The team already boasts one of the most talented blue-line groups in the NHL, and they're only going to grow and improve from here.
"I think it's awesome and rare that our group of defensemen, we're all so close," Pesce said on a Wednesday conference call. "I think it just goes a long way to come into the league together - me, him and Noah - and grow as people and hockey players. That builds our chemistry off the ice."
General Manager Ron Francis and his staff have assembled a young core on defense that will likely soon see league-wide accolades. And they've done so without breaking the bank, even with the trio of Slavin, Pesce and Noah Hanifin coming off their entry-level contracts after this season. Slavin and Pesce are set to earn a combined average of $9.325 million in each of the six seasons they'll be under contract together. That's a whale of a deal, especially considering the singular average annual value of some of the league's top defensemen; PK Subban's contract, for instance, carries a $9 million cap hit alone.
The Slavin-Pesce pair has been one of the league's best-kept secrets. As Canes assistant coach Steve Smith told me last season, though, coaches are beginning to figure it out and shy their top lines away from that pairing. They're two budding defensive stalwarts, and to have them locked down for the next seven years (eight in Slavin's case) is tremendous for this team's long-term future.
"I know how much faith the organization has put in me with this deal," Pesce said. "I know that now is the time to get even better and work even harder to elevate my game."
The new Hurricanes yard signs have arrived at 1400 Edwards Mill Rd., and as a #Tweetmail exclusive, the signs are pictured at the top of this piece.
These will be available (for free!) in conjunction with the individual game ticket on-sale, which is Thursday, Aug. 24. The signs will be available for fans to pick up at PNC Arena's VIP entrance and at events throughout late August and September.
Speaking of, individual game ticket pricing and gold, silver and bronze game designations were announced on Wednesday morning. All of that and more is available here.
Yes, the #Canes20 logo will be featured at center ice during the 2017-18 season. You'll also see the logo adorning the Canes' helmets this season. There will be special 20th Anniversary swag available in The Eye, and fans who fill out this form and purchase a new Canes jersey when they arrive at The Eye in early September will receive an exclusive 20th Anniversary patch.
Keep an eye out in early September for Season Ticket Member ticket packages to be arriving on your doorsteps. What you'll be receiving this year will honor the team's 20th Anniversary season, and the presentation will be quite a bit different than what you're used to. We think you'll really like it - and that's about all I can say at this point.
Brett Pesce, Brock McGinn and Klas Dahlbeck will have C's on their jerseys this season.
But seriously, there is no further word on what the captaincy will look like in the 2017-18 season. We'll dive more into that once training camp begins and the Opening Night roster is assembled. Soon!
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you'd like answered or you enjoyed or did not enjoy the above wordplay, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.