Friday, July 24, 2009

Canes Bring Back Aaron Ward

The Carolina Hurricanes traded forward Patrick Eaves and a 4th round draft pick to the Boston Bruins for Aaron Ward. The 6"2 defenceman had 3 goals and 7 assists along with a plus/minus 16 for the Bruins in '09. His experience and grit should be welcomed back with open arms by the Canes.

Ward played on the '06 Cup team before leaving via free agency for the Rangers.
Ward was at the center of some controversy after being punched in the face by the Canes' Scott Walker during the playoffs. Hopefully there won't be any lingering ill feelings between the two players now that they are teammates.

The Bruins placed winger Patrick Eaves on waivers. You have to wonder if this may be the end of his career. He has had numerous serious injuries. I'm hoping someone will sign him and he can play up to his potential.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Canes sign Ruutu to 3 Year Deal

The Carolina Hurricanes avoided arbitration by signing Tuomo Ruutu to a 3 year deal worth 3m, 4m, and 4.4m. This signing was crucial to the Canes. Ruutu brings that nasty, hard to play against physicality along with the ability to put the puck in the back of the net. Ruutu had his best offensive season in the NHL with 26 goals and 28 assists. He also stayed healthy and played in 79 games. Ruutu is a fan favorite in Carolina. Many Caniacs along with myself are breathing a sigh of relief with this signing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Carolina Hurricanes voted 2nd Best Franchise by ESPN

The Canes take quite a bit of flack about being a hockey team from the south where many northerners believe hockey shouldn't be. Tampa Bay winning the cup in '04 and the Canes in '06 beg to differ.
We are passionate about our team here in Raleigh. Many welcome the team home win or lose at the airport during the playoffs. Caniacs show up as early as they will open the gates for hours of intense tailgating.
Just attending 1 game at the RBC Center is many times enough to win over a new fan. Personally I was hooked after attending 2 games in Greensboro when the Canes first came to Carolina. Once the team moved into their new arena in Raleigh the experience has gotten better every year win or lose.
I have fond memories of buying a ticket in the parking lot years ago so I could watch Mario Lemieux play against us the year he came out of retirement. It was well worth the inflated price I paid!
I also remember enjoying tailgating during '02 playoffs and meeting many nice Montreal fans in the parking lot and inside the arena. They really appreciated the tailgating experience.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Babchuk: To Be a Cane or Not

Rutherford made a qualifying offer of 1 million and so far Babchuk and his agent have not signed it. I agree that Babchuk has done some stupid things like not going to Albany when assigned there and bolting for Russia instead. After a year there he came back and played very well for this team last year. He was tied for 5th in overall goals for a defenceman with 16. He was 26th in the plus/minus department with (+13) I think Babchuk should have signed the offer sheet. He was lucky to have been brought back from Russia. He played pretty well during the season but was a healthy scratch in many of the playoff games. I guess it is a case of both sides being stubborn. JR holds the cards and I think 1 million is fair. He should sign the offer sheet and play like he has something to prove. Then come next year he would deserve that raise from us or another team.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Heatley deserves nothing

A no trade clause is there to protect a player from being traded to a team they don't want to play for. When a player goes to management asking to be traded that clause should automatically be null and void. Ottawa had a good deal set up with Edmonton where they were getting value back for Heatley. He said no to the trade. Now if Ottawa doesn't trade him he can just sit home while the NHL goes on without him. Heatley is talented but selfish.

Flyers D gets tougher with Pronger

Philly recently added Chris Pronger to their team adding instant snarl to their defence. He is a ferocious hitter and has a hard shot from the blueline. He knows what it takes to win the cup after winning it with the Ducks and falling short against the Canes. I dread seeing him in the East for the simple fact that he will play against us 4 times.

Ruutu files for arbitration

Tuomo Ruuto has filed for salary arbitration but don't be surprised if he is signed before the hearing. Rutherford has a history of signing the players before the hearing date. Filing for arbitration keeps other teams from tendering offers to the player. Ruutu is a must sign in my opinion. His punishing hits combined with his scoring touch are sorely needed. He became a fan favorite in his first game after taking a high stick from Patrick Elias that opened up a cut taking 40 stitches to close. He skated off the ice and did not miss a game. If I were a gambler I would bet on Rutherford doing whatever it takes to re-sign Ruutu.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Making a splash in free agency not always wise

My Canes haven't made any free agent signings that make the big headlines but they did bring Cole and LaRose back into the fold. The best part is JR didn't have to break the bank to do it. You can always count on the Rangers to go after the biggest names but then they have some of the biggest flops too. They have 8 out of the 25 biggest free agent busts on They very well may have done it again this year with injury prone Marion Gaborik. I admit to hoping for a big name to sign with the Canes every year at this time but JR has proven time and again that he knows what he is doing. I am very glad not to be like Montreal who is moving players in and out like a turnstile. We don't have the big budget down here in Raleigh but I think JR makes the most of what he has to work with. When the dust settles I would wager he will make a low profile deal or two.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hossa signs ridiculous 12 year deal

Hossa is a great player but 12 years? This is ludricrous even without a tough economy. What happens when they want to trade him when his play starts dropping off? I thought these crazy long contracts were history but it appears some GMs never learn. Look how the Rangers tied their hands with long term deals with Scott Gomez and Chris Drury.

Cole signs 2 year deal with the Canes

The Hurricanes re-signed Erik Cole to a 2 year deal today. It is a reasonable deal for both Cole and the Canes. I think where teams get themselves into trouble in this economic climate is with 3 or more year contracts that are hard to unload if needed. It was less than the 4 mil a year he was making but coming off a sub par year it was to be expected. Maybe the phone wasn't ringing and his agent figured he better take the deal on the table. Hopefully he will bounce back and play like I know he is capable of. Now I wait to hear able LaRose.