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Bryan Rodney vs. Brett Carson (Warning: STATS!!!)

View Poll Results: Who will make the team out of camp?
Bryan Rodney 1 6.25%
Brett Carson 15 93.75%
other 0 0%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-22-2009, 08:47 PM
  #1
semin4captain
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Bryan Rodney vs. Brett Carson (Warning: STATS!!!)

I keep reading at other boards about how Bryan Rodney is some sort of viable option as a Top 6 defenseman with Seidenberg likely getting an $8M/yr contract with a NMC from somebody. I hope this is not true.

So Rutherford has said that Rodney has a spot to lose and would have to "play himself off the team" in training camp in order to not make the team. Looking at the head-to-head ice time and the respective situations that Rodney and Brett Carson were used in, it appears that the coaching staff would disagree with JR as to who is the better player.

Let's first start with their ice time:
Rodney - 12:37TOI, 9:39ES, 0:38SH, 2:19PP
Carson - 15:43TOI, 11:38ES, 2:01SH, 2:03PP

Both got similar PP time, but Carson was trusted much more in actual defensive situations. The extent of which is explained below...

Their defensive partners at ES (minimum 10min played):
Rodney - Frantisek Kaberle (31:01), Niclas Wallin (16:19)
Carson - Joni Pitkanen (25:54), Joe Corvo (10:21)

After looking at their defensive partners, take a wild guess as to who was facing the tougher opposition. Carson was used mostly in the Top 4, with Rodney almost exclusively on the third-pairing.

Their ten most common forward opponents:
Rodney - Kamil Kreps, Brett McClean, Joffrey Lupul, Marty Reasoner, Anthony Stewart, Jeff Carter, Colin Stuart, Mike Richards, Colby Armstrong, Scottie Upshall
Carson - Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, Mike Knuble, Scott Hartnell, Jeff Carter, Joffrey Lupul, Alexander Ovechkin, Scottie Upshall, Nicklas Backstrom, Radek Dvorak

In conclusion:
Rodney played most of 2.5 seasons in the ECHL before earning a permanent call-up to the AHL. Carson played three games in the ECHL before they figured out he was too good for that level. Now maybe some of that had to do with Carson being an NHL-drafted prospect while other likewise-drafted prospects got priority over Rodney, but that's what happened.

I'm not saying Bryan Rodney is never going to make the NHL, but it would be a pretty odd career trajectory for a defenseman who spent that much time in the ECHL (even after spending an overage season in juniors) to become a legit Top 6 defenseman at the NHL level. I really can't think of any defensemen with similar paths, though you can feel free to mention some.

Rodney looked pretty good on the powerplay and definitely showed that he could play in that area, so there's hope for him to be a PP specialist in the NHL (see Andrew Hutchinson). But with Pitkanen/Corvo/Babchuk/Cullen already here, do we really need a PP specialist defenseman? Wouldn't it make more sense to have someone who can play in defensive situations?

It's getting close to now or never time for Brett Carson as a prospect. He'll be 24 in November and has spent three full seasons in the AHL. I fully believe that come training camp he will prove his worth and that Bryan Rodney will be reduced to getting a few call-ups whenever Pitkanen gets hurt.

(Defensive pairing/forward opponent stats taken from http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/index.php)

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06-22-2009, 09:04 PM
  #2
DaveG
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I'm HOPING it's Carson. I have nothing against Rodney, and really if we lose both Seidenberg and Kaberle I would have no problem with both players getting a shot at the roster next season. I'd prefer the team sign someone rather then have to rely on two rookies if we lose both Seidenberg (almost certain) and Kaberle (still unknown) but even in a worst case scenario I'm OK with having a top 4 of Pitkanen-Babchuk, Corvo-Gleason again while Carson learns the NHL game. Rodney, at this point, I see as a powerplay specialist that will offer more mobility then Wallin as the #6 when it's needed, nothing more nothing less. But fact of the matter is Carson IS the better player defensively and has a more significant physical presence to offer, plus better mobility from the 5/6 then Wallin has to offer, and that's exactly what this team needs.

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06-22-2009, 09:04 PM
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Vagrant
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I think Rutherford caught himself up in the "feel good" aspect of Bryan Rodney and in his disappointment in having to send him down made a comment that was wildly inaccurate and totally unfair to the prospects that have been in our organization the longest, attended camps only to go back to the AHL at the eleventh hour, been to our rookie camps, and followed the advice of our staff and been respectful in their approach rather than complaining about their status. I felt it was disrespectful especially to Carson, who has spend three entire seasons with the Hurricanes minor league affiliate improving his game every year and just barely missing the team due to bloated contracts and obligations to veteran skaters that didn't earn their spots by merit but by financial status.

Brett Carson has NEVER been given a chance like the one that was presented to many other Hurricanes defensive prospects during his tenure here despite being the consensus 2nd best prospect behind whatever flavor of the moment was 1st at the time.

In my opinion, if the 6th defenseman slot is open heading into the season then Brett Carson should be the guy to have to lose the spot based on his development in the AHL to this point.

He adds a lot of what we need in terms of size, defensive awareness, and a decent first pass.

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06-22-2009, 10:32 PM
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semin4captain
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I remember a few years ago when Rowe (back when he was coaching Albany) said that McCarthy told him that his NHL defensemen were having trouble getting the puck out of the zone compared to the job Carson/Borer did in preseason. Despite this, Carson was never called up.

The fascination with Rodney is based off the guy looking semi-decent while playing sheltered third-pairing minutes against nobodies. The major issue with sheltering your third-pairing like this is that the first two pairings have to play ridiculous amounts of minutes. Take for instance the 4-3 SO win over San Jose. Rodney and Kaberle played 9:28 and 5:08, respectively, in an overtime game. That left Corvo to play 32:27 and Pitkanen 29:31. The problem with dressing a "powerplay specialist" for 10 minutes a game is the same as dressing a goon that will play three shifts; one or more of your top players will be getting double shifted.

It's not like any third pair is going to see tough minutes, but the way Kaberle/Wallin-Rodney was used was ridiculous and eventually your Top 4 will get tired out. Carson is someone who I believe can handle a regular shift and doesn't need to be hidden away from good players.

Rodney looked very good at making outlet passes, but we rarely saw the guy actually have to play defense. He didn't kill penalties, he played against mostly 3rd/4th liners (outside of the 6-5 loss to PHI) and he played mostly with Kaberle so I doubt those two were out on the ice for many defensive zone face-offs. So what in the world did Rodney do that makes some people think he's a legit candidate for a spot in the Top 6? Pick up a few points? I'm lost here.

It's sort of like a few years ago when LaRose played a game at center, so a bunch of people penciled him as our new third-line center during the offseason. Or when Noah Babin vaulted to top prospect status among casual fans because he's from Florida and scored a goal in a preseason game.

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06-22-2009, 10:32 PM
  #5
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I voted Carson. Rodney is just another version of Andrew Hutchinson, and i hope i am wrong here.
Although, it is quite possible none of them will make it out of the camp.

I have a feeling that JR will sign or trade for that physical defenseman he promised and Kaberle will still be around after all said and done.

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06-23-2009, 04:22 AM
  #6
OrioleWay
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McBain.

Seriosly - Carson.

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06-23-2009, 05:13 AM
  #7
semin4captain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmonk View Post
I voted Carson. Rodney is just another version of Andrew Hutchinson, and i hope i am wrong here.
Although, it is quite possible none of them will make it out of the camp.

I have a feeling that JR will sign or trade for that physical defenseman he promised and Kaberle will still be around after all said and done.
I'm all for getting a physical defenseman to replace Seidenberg, but hopefully a spot will be made for a prospect even if Kaberle decides not to leave for the KHL (I wouldn't blame him given the money he is making here). JR finally put money aside this season and did the right thing by demoting Melichar and his one-way contract and calling up Borer/Carson, so I'd hope he be willing to spend on a cheap deal for Carson/Borer/Rodney/McBain/whoever this season.

I don't know what's the point of having a farm system if you're never going to give your prospects a shot at the next level when they've clearly excelled in the AHL. Carson's +/- was pretty bad this season (which is likely due to the poor goaltending and lack of scorers on the team; the team was filled with players deep in the minus including good defensive forwards like Dodge and Blanchard), but he still posted 35 points in 69 games--good for 18th among all AHL defensemen despite missing 11 games due to call-up/injury.

Carson posted similar or more points-per-game to legit NHL offensive D prospects like Kindl, Lepisto, Sanguinetti, Ellerby, Nigel Williams, Vishnevskiy, and Stralman. Granted he's 1-2 years older than most of them (Lepisto is actually a year older and still is considered a very good prospect, or at least one that Washington fans insist on throwing in on every single trade proposal), but offense isn't supposed to be his game in the first place yet he's putting up .5PPG on a bad team. This is clearly someone whose natural tools are too good for that level and he's picking up points just by being big, fast and possessing a good slapshot. He had no history of putting up big numbers in juniors outside of his overage season, thought it's certainly possible he's a late bloomer in the regard. This is sort of like when Chad LaRose scored 14 goals in 23 games in the AHL before being called-up; he was just too good for that level. It doesn't mean he's going to dominate the NHL, but it does show he is at least ready to contribute.

Yes, I know, Rodney's points-per-game was even better than Carson's...but he's a strictly offensive 25-year old in the AHL and should be dominating by now. Put Babchuk at that level now and he probably scores 20+ goals and wins the Eddie Shore Award for best defenseman (and I'm not being sarcastic...he absolute dominated the AHL as a 21-22 year old in our system with 11 points in 14 games; Albany fans said he was clearly the most talented player on the ice for both teams). Carson at 23 is much more likely to translate his game to the next level, particularly with his size and good skating ability for a big guy. And he's a right-handed shot that we could use, especially if Babchuk is dealt and Corvo leaves next offseason.

To expand to the forward prospects: if we sign Ruutu/Cole/LaRose/Jokinen long-term to go with Staal/Samsonov/Eaves/Brind'amour signed for two years or more (+ Whitney who is still producing big numbers at age 37), when is a real Top 9 role for one of Boychuk/Bomwan (not to mention Terry and whoever we draft with our 1st rounder next week) going to open? These kids could use a year in the minors, but there is such a thing as too much time in the AHL and I think we've reached that point with some of our prospects.

Not that I really thought that Petruzalek had a legit shot at becoming an NHL top 6 forward, but I'm not at all shocked that he signed in Finland after spending three years with Albany and earning a whopping one call-up of two games (and that was in a season where he co-led Albany with 54 points as a 23-year old). The organization would rather call up career AHLers like Aucoin/Ryan/Helminen/Jensen than give a shot to somebody who may have some upside. Petruzalek actually did something in one of his games with that beautiful pass on the Samsonov goal against SJ, but we're never going to find out what he can do over the long term (I suppose he could come back to North America like Babchuk did, but I doubt it) because the guy got sick of waiting for a shot that never was going to come. Again, not a big loss as the guy was absolutely tiny (smaller than LaRose), but he showed great strides in the AHL that were barely rewarded. He was a 9th round pick from the Czech Republic who decided to come to NA to play at the junior level, worked his way up from the ECHL to become a legit Top 6 forward in the AHL and got two NHL games in three years to show for it.

It seems like we're scared to let our young players make mistakes at the NHL level that may cost us points, so instead we call up veterans who make the "safe" plays but don't really contribute much of anything. We'd rather have someone do their best Ryan Bayda impersonation and accomplish nothing, rather than maybe improvise like Samsonov and actually score a goal once in awhile. We want our call-ups to get the puck in deep and not make a mistake, while meanwhile Whitney/Samsonov/Cole (I am putting Cole is this category as he's turned into an absolute turnover machine; he is now a physical version of Maxim Afinogenov) can do whatever the hell they want.

We don't have the best prospect pool (though we've worked our way up to 20th in HF's rankings! ) so I can understand the reluctance to call up young players, but either way Rutherford is to blame for barely any real prospects making the jump to the NHL through our farm system--through poor drafting or otherwise. Most of the kids who make it are those who are fast-tracked to the NHL before spending barely any (if any) time in the minors. Andrew Ladd (another prospect who was barely giving a legit shot on a scoring line and is now doing pretty well as a Blackhawk; I think the trade was even and I love Ruutu, but giving up on a #4 overall power forward after not even four years is a joke) scored 11 goals in 25 games as a 19-year old in the AHL, so of course Rutherford had to rush him to the team for good as soon as an injury to Vasicek popped up. Danny Richmond was slow in his development so we dealt him for an older, more NHL-ready prospect in Babchuk (a major steal given how Richmond is still in the AHL and has been traded twice since, but still a sign of giving up on prospects early). Brandon Sutter making the NHL as a center who couldn't win face-offs due to his lack of bulk was a joke; he was handed a spot with no other viable 4th line center option on the team. I know that spending another year in Red Deer would have done him no good, but he should have at least been playing RW and preferably in the Top 9 - even if it hurt the team offensively - instead of getting nine minutes a game in a position he couldn't excel at due to his weight. His defensive/PK numbers were real good but the kid had as many concussions as he did goals (1). Thankfully he was able to get 22 AHL games in at the end of the year and score at a decent 45-point pace while posting a +2 rating on a horrific team, so it doesn't look like his development has been ruined. He was never going to be big time scorer despite his high draft position, but playing him on the 4th line with Bayda and Eaves isn't a good way to develop even a checking-line player. That line - while great defensively - was pretty much an offensive black hole at 5-on-5; Staal would have had trouble putting up points playing with those guys, and I say that as a huge Patrick Eaves fan.

Unless I am forgetting someone, we haven't had a real player come up through our system and make it since Chad LaRose did it in 05-06. Bayda doesn't really count as he left the organization after he wasn't given a QO and then came back as minor league depth.

Pretty soon some of our "kids" are going to officially hit AHL veteran status and only five of them will be able to play at one time (Pat Dwyer may have actually already hit this status, but I'm not sure). I wouldn't be surprised to see more of them - even the North American guys - follow Petruzalek's route and head to Europe where they could actually make decent money.

Okay, so I just wrote a really long post about Brett Carson to go with my really long posts about Bayda/Eaves/Seidenberg. Welcome to the offseason. I would really like to see the kid make the team, but if it's not in the cards then perhaps Rodney will get a shot. I don't have anything against Rodney as certainly he's earned whatever spot he gets (I would have gone to Europe by now if I spent two full seasons in the ECHL); I just think Carson could really have a future as a #4/5 defenseman while Rodney's potential is much more limited.


Last edited by semin4captain: 06-23-2009 at 06:57 AM.
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06-23-2009, 06:12 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caniacho View Post
McBain.

Seriosly - Carson.
On a serious note, Rutherford actually made a comment that McBain could make the team if he played well enough in camp. That's not a ridiculous statement to make as he's 21 (will turn 22 mid-way through the season), has already spent three years in college, and definitely possesses the most upside of any of our D prospects. I wonder if the organization may feel he's more ready than us on HF do, or if Rutherford is only saying that because there are going to be multiple kids patrolling our blueline and McBain may have as good a shot as any. Despite his age and lack of pro experience outside of the 10 games he played with Albany, I'd much rather have McBain than Borer/Rodney---but that's purely from a "winning hockey games" standpoint rather than what's best for McBain's development; I'm not sure which approach Rutherford is taking. Don't be surprised to see yet another top prospect rushed.

If we indeed lose both Seidenberg and Babchuk, we could seriously use some offensive help on the back-end and I don't think Carson or Rodney's offense are going to translate to the NHL level. I believe McBain's will--I've heard his style compared to that of Tom Gilbert who put up 45 points with second unit PP time this past season. I don't want to see McBain up here this season as he could use a year+ to adjust to the pro game (Gilbert spent four years in college and then a season in the AHL before making it as a full time NHLer at the age of 24; incidentally he was paired with Pitkanen in Edmonton so perhaps there could be a Pitkanen-McBain pairing sometime in the future), but it looks like a real possibility that he could make the NHL this season.

I wouldn't feel too good about our defense if we had both Carson and McBain on it (that's a serious step down from Seidenberg and Babchuk both offensively and defensively, not to mention experience-wise), but there just doesn't seem to be any money to do any better...what with the need to overpay for Erik Cole.


Last edited by semin4captain: 06-23-2009 at 07:13 AM.
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06-23-2009, 07:49 AM
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I think we are all in agreement on Carson being better than Rodney.....and honestly im not sure its even close. The McBain thought is an interesting one but I too would prefer to see him in the A for at least most of this upcoming season.

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06-23-2009, 08:24 AM
  #10
semin4captain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eerodynamic
I think we are all in agreement on Carson being better than Rodney.....and honestly im not sure its even close. The McBain thought is an interesting one but I too would prefer to see him in the A for at least most of this upcoming season.
Since I'm incredibly bored, I'll go ahead and explore the merits of a Pitkanen-McBain pairing. Ideally it wouldn't exist until '10-'11 or later, but who knows.

They are both offensive defensemen, but Pitkanen is incredibly underrated defensively and is great at covering for his partner using his speed, much like Bret Hedican. McBain will probably struggle a bit defensively in his rookie season like most young offensive defensemen do (he went -10 last season in college, but then again that team couldn't score 5-on-5), but that shouldn't be an issue especially if Pitkanen keeps improving defensively as he did this past season.

Let's look at the results that Pitkanen and Tom Gilbert got when they were paired together in Edmonton. Both were 24 at the time and Gilbert had a whopping 12 games of NHL experience (and only 70 professional games total, including the playoffs) prior to that season.

In 517:47 of even strength hockey, Pitkanen-Gilbert generated 30 goals-for and 20 goals-against. Those are phenomenal results considering Edmonton was a low scoring team and got questionable goaltending from Roloson for half the season (though pretty good play from Garon once he stole the starting job). Not only that, but they became the first pairing after Souray went down (after 24 games) and mostly went up against top lines.

Outside of one bad season in which he was playing on the worst team in the league, Pitkanen has a long history of getting absolutely great results 5-on-5 while facing reasonably tough competition (+43 outside of that season despite cracking the NHL as a 20-year old). His goals-against are usually a tad bit high (though not this past season), but he generates ridiculous amounts of offense for his team. Based on some of the teams he's played for, the match-ups he's faced and the age that he made the NHL, he should be a career minus player like Gleason/Seidenberg/Babchuk all are. Instead he's +18.

If only he could translate that 5-on-5 play to the PP and PK, he'd be a legit #1. But I don't know if that's going to happen as I think Pitkanen's style is fit for a run-and-gun transition game and he's just not a smart enough hockey player to "get" how to play in outnumbered situations. Who knows, though, as he's still 25 and hasn't hit his prime. He seemed much more willing to play the body and clear the front of the net late in the season (both crucial in PK situations). I don't know, however, if his shot is good enough to be a succesful PP producer.

If McBain is indeed going to be every bit as good as Gilbert as I've heard a Badgers fan claim (both played for Wisconsin; Gilbert graduated the year before McBain's freshman season), then Pitkanen-McBain could be a great pairing.

...Or maybe we should just trade Corvo+Wallin+conditional 7th round pick for Gilbert. It would be a good trade for both teams. I am right and you are wrong.


Last edited by semin4captain: 06-23-2009 at 08:38 AM.
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06-23-2009, 10:42 AM
  #11
OrioleWay
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Like i said in other thread, i really don't want to see another player with stupid contracts on this team because in `10-11` i want to see new generation caniacs - McBain, Bellemore, Terry, Boychuk, Bowman and Sutter. I really want to see them in Carolina even in 09-10 but i don't think they're ready for this. I don't have problem if they make team but we can't expected too much from them + role on 4nd line is a waste of time and potential. This kids deserves to play at least on 3nd line with good players.

In 10-11 roster should be like that

Boychuk- Staal- new player or Cole
Bowman- Cullen- Ruutu
Samsonov- Sutter- Eaves
Bayda/ Jokinen- new player- Dodge

Pitkanen- Gleason
McBain- physical d-man who eventually JR will brings this offseason ( i'm really want guy like Hamhuis )
new player- Bellemore

I dont know why but don't except to see Ruutu stay in Raleigh in 10-11. Don't have problem with Cole if he can brings his game from early career but he's typical 2nd liner just like Ruutu.

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