Similar situations in Carolina and Vegas can create a win-win business

(Image source: photographer Brandon Andresen)

For the third year in a row, Carolina Hurricanes entered the season with legitimate Stanley Cup ambitions. A roster full of talent, one of the best coaches in the league, and an icy-strong atmosphere at home made many experts choose Cane not only before the season started, but also heading into the playoffs.

Carolina set records for the franchise with 116 points and 54 wins in a regular season and a straight second division title. They had 30 goals, 11 players reached double digits, and 14 with at least 28 points. In addition to this, they also got a powerful goal from Freddy Andersen.

Then the playoffs came, they won a tour (albeit not as easily as expected) and then got shot the same way they had the year before and the year before. The team, which was built on the basis of a balanced offensive line, a formidable defense and good goalkeepers, withdrew in the second round for the third consecutive season. The scoring dried up, the depth was exposed, and the goalkeeper did not save the goal (this year due to injury more than anything else).

This all sounds very familiar, right?

Of course, the Golden Knights and the Hurricanes aren’t all the same in their construction nor in the way they operate as an organization, and the problems each team faces are very different this season, but there are enough similarities that they could make the perfect partner for each other this summer.

Carolina has a lot of decisions to make on important players such as Nino Niederretter, Vincent Trochek, Max Dome, Tony D’Angelo, Martin Nikas and Ethan Bear. Lucky for them, they have a lot more room to do that than the team we’re covering on this site.

But, like the Golden Knights, they simply couldn’t bring everyone back and expected the results to be different this time. They could use some sort of alteration and would want to do so by bringing in usable pieces in cup competitions.

I always think we’re fine. It’s just, do we have elite scorers? Probably not, but we have great players. We’re built a little differently for some teams. CAR coach Rod Bringmore

While the Vegas issue has also been about goal-scoring, the acquisition of Jack Eichel could allow the front office to look to a player like Max Pacioretty or Jonathan Marchessault as an expend, and Canes might be the perfect choice.

In contrast, Carolina is brimming with young talent, both who have broken through at the NHL level, and who haven’t. What the Golden Knights really need is a player on a junior contract who can come in and contribute at a high level next year. Seth Jarvis is clearly jumping off the page after his stellar year and post-season, but realistically it could cost an elite scorer as well as a first-round pick to put him off.

Noel Gunler, Ryan Suzuki and Jamison Reese are three players who are all potentially hack-ready, and Phil Koivonen is probably the most anticipated potential player in their squad that could take an extra year but could be a game-changer.

It would be too risky for both of these teams to do what would essentially be a hockey deal as opposed to the Golden Knights trying to off the cap by doing the least damage to the crew or the baton looking to add with futures, but it could be exactly what he needs One or both of these groups.

Something has to change both in Vegas and the Carolinas if they’re expecting to get over the hump and perhaps the change needs to be a little too significant rather than working around the edges. Perhaps the answer is not to be a victim of teams with more space or in rebuilding mode, perhaps you find someone in a similar situation and mix the deck a bit between the two franchises.