Hello and welcome to Tweetmail, a weekly feature on Hurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. At least, that's what usually happens.
I'm taking a slightly altered approach this week. I've been out of the office on vacation since the beginning of the month, and some things have happened since then.
So, let's discuss.
This was fun, and I think y'all will enjoy the end result. More - including our brewery partner, the design of the cans and packaging, the type of beer and, of course, the name - will be revealed soon.
If you didn't notice, we shuffled some letters around in our Twitter handle (and we're just @canes on Instagram now, too). Why? It may look insignificant, but there are good reasons behind it. At some point, I'm sure we've all tried to search "Canes" on Twitter and come up empty, since the "NHL" preceded that in our old handle. No more. This should make our account much easier to find.
NHL Network named Sebastian Aho the league's 14th best center. "He's just a fantastic player who is good at everything," Mike Johnson said.
Aho's surrounded by some pretty good company, too, sandwiched by Evgeni Malkin at 13 and Jack Eichel at 15. There's no reason to think Aho can't continue climbing the charts, either. The 22-year-old Finn has only improved in each of his first three seasons in the NHL, culminating with a team-leading 83-point campaign (30g, 53a) in 2018-19. A push toward 90 points and perhaps even the century mark isn't out of the question for 2019-20.
A move involving defenseman Trevor Carrick had been simmering for some time. After being selected by the Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft, Carrick played in the organization for five seasons. In that time, he logged just four NHL games, while his time in Charlotte culminated with a Calder Cup championship just a few months ago. His season-ending tweet hinted at a new beginning, and I speculated about his future with the organization in last week's Tweetmail, as well.
Ultimately, the 25-year-old blueliner was in search of a fresh start with a new organization, and in return, the Hurricanes acquired defenseman Kyle Wood.
Wood is a big boy - he's officially listed at 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds - who can move the puck. The 23-year-old D-man totaled 29 assists (matching a career high) and 35 points (second among team defensemen) in the 2018-19 season with the San Jose Barracuda.
Goaltender Anton Forsberg was one of the Hurricanes' last remaining restricted free agents yet to ink a new contract. He had been issued his qualifying offer from Chicago prior to the late-June trade that brought him and defenseman Gustav Forsling to North Carolina, and Forsberg elected to settle in arbitration. On Tuesday, the independent third party awarded Forsberg with a one-year contract worth $775,000.
Forsberg joins a crowded group in the blue paint that is led by Petr Mrazek. James Reimer, Alex Nedeljkovic and Forsberg all figure to contend for the back-up role in training camp. Depth is key at any position, especially in goal, where the Canes utilized four netminders in the 2018-19 season.
Forward Saku Maenalanen and defenseman Roland McKeown are now the Canes' only remaining restricted free agents, and I'd expect both to re-sign with the team in the coming days or weeks.
And then there's unrestricted free agent Justin Williams, who is expected to make a decision on his immediate future in the immediate future.
Is it October yet?
Join me next week for a return to our usual question-and-answer format!
If you have a question you'd like answered or you particularly enjoyed this twist on the usual Tweetmail, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes, or you can drop me an email.