It seems that the Hurricanes management know only one word and that is defense. With a blue liner dominated draft, now comes a trade with blue liners as the center piece. Coming to Carolina is Stephane Quintal and Daniel Tjarnqvist while Pierre Turgeon, forward prospect Ivan Khomutov and an undisclosed amount of money went the other way.
This seems like not a good trade for the Hurricanes as it now seriously leaves them shorthanded in the pivot spots. This question was posed to GM Dionysius Ong, “You can see it that way but we feel that we have the players to replace Pierre.” Ong did not want to elaborate on the statement.
This begs the question, who do the Hurricanes have to replace Turgeon with. Boyd Devereaux and Jeff Bateman will get more game time as a result but they are not exactly what you call second line centers. Do they blood a young center like Ryan Kelser, Joel Lundqvist or convert the likes of Zherdev, Lupul and Ovechkin into a center. These question marks must be burning in the minds of Hurricanes management.
However, it can be seen as a shrewd way to get rid of salary. Turgeon was making $8.5 million. This is a lot of money for a player that is past his used by date.
“Sure his contract may have been a reason to him being traded,” said Ong. “But it was not the main reason. The main reason was that we saw an opportunity to strengthened our blue line for the season.”
On a brighter note the blue line for the coming season has become a lot stronger. With both additions have an average to solid top three with Spacek. Whether or not this better than the top three of fellow eastern cellar dwellers from the Sunshine State remains to be seen. But it is a marked improvement nevetheless.
“We definitely strengthened our blue line corpse,” said Ong. “Stephane (Quintal) and Daniel (Tjarnqvist) will give us options on our special teams. Stephane will be one of our elder statesman who will help the young kids coming up while Daniel will give us another quality puck moving defenseman.”
For Quintal, it will be a second stint in Raleigh. A lot has changed since he has been gone for two seasons.
“I don’t really recognized anyone except for the GM and some of the training staff,” said Quintal about his return. “The atmosphere has really changed. The Canes has gone through their lowest ebb and the only way to go is up.”
When asked about their chances on the playoffs now, Ong said, “ We have as good a chance as anyone. There is a lot that can happen in 82 games. However, I have to conceed that every thing has to fall our way for that to happen.”
Meanwhile in other trades restricted free agent center Chad Kilger was sent to the Maple Leafs for right winger Craig Adams, who was claimed from waivers from the Hurricanes last season.
“I made a mistake by putting Craig (Adams) on waivers,” said Ong when he did the trade. "We did qualify Chad (Kilger). In hindsight, I think we should have let him walk. But at least he will be on a team that would appreciate him."
With these couple of trades, it seems that goals are not going to be aplenty. Snuggle up Canes fans, Rick DiPietrio must be the early favourite for rookie of the year at this point in time.
I hear a Ding, there goes the Dong... I'm gone... *poof*