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Columnist thinks ‘Canes should consider trading Jeff Skinner

May 3, 2013, 9:26 AM EDT

Jeff Skinner Getty Images

It’s no secret the Carolina Hurricanes struggled on defense this past season. Going without goalie Cam Ward didn’t help matters much, but even with him in there they had problems keeping other teams from generating offense.

Raleigh News & Observer columnist Luke DeCock has a solution for that problem and some ‘Canes fans may not dig it.

If the opportunity arises to add an elite defenseman, it may require parting with part of that core group. It would have been unthinkable a year ago, but it is worth some serious thought about what trading Skinner might bring in return.

Now that’s a bold idea.

DeCock says Carolina should be looking to pick off players from teams needing to get under next year’s salary cap. According to CapGeek, Carolina is at $56.6 million for next year with 17 players signed. That’s a good spot to be in with a handful of expiring deals.

Dealing Skinner and his $5.725 million cap hit through 2019, an extension that kicks in next season, would be rather disingenuous but that line’s already been crossed when Philly dealt Jeff Carter to Columbus two summers ago. Add in that Skinner’s numbers have dropped each season and you’ve got yourself  a hot debate.

  1. xavier46 - May 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    They need cap relief as much as anything.

    To get cap relief and a return, they should explore trading Skinner or J Staal; both would be unpopular moves with the fans.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 3, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      I don’t think you’ll see them trading any Staals, and I would bet at some point you’ll see them make a move for the complete set. It’s not just a collection, if they perform, it’s a great marketing tool. I’m sure that’s the reason they brought up Jared too, at the end of the season.

      • tfaltin - May 3, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Marc is just what they need. Actually, Marc Staal for Skinner? Thinking…

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 3, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        I was thinking that too, just didn’t want to go there because I’m wondering if NYR would want more offense, at this point. It would definitely serve an immediate need on offense though. They ended up adding on D too this year because of injuries (with the Hamrlik waiver pick-up)…I’m wondering if they’d ever go for it. If they did get a decent D-man in a trade, they could also pick up Nurse or Ristolainen in the draft…that’d help!

      • tfaltin - May 3, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        As a Rangers fan I’d prefer to have Staal. He just fits better with Torts. NYR also don’t have a first round pick this year (shame since this draft class has been compared to ’03) to get a defenseman. I’ve been very impressed with Moore, and would feel better about trading Staal if McIlrath was going to develop, but I just dont see that happening. Keep the defensive depth.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 3, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        Meh, can’t see an even trade for Skinner with just Marc Staal. Staal is 6 years older, still hasn’t regained full vision (and may never will but hopefully he does), was never a top 1-2 defensive talent to begin with and may not be that caliber of player when he returns. He’s a second pair talent and would only be disguised as a top line D-Man in Carolina because of their poor defensive depth. Skinner, in time and without more head injuries, will be a top line scorer. Rangers would have to give up more than just Staal unless Rutherford is just plain nuts.

      • xavier46 - May 3, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        I 100% agree.

        What they should do and will do are likely two different things.

      • tfaltin - May 3, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        With Justin Faulk, Ryan Murphy and in the perfect draft position to get Nurse, the Canes will have a stable of good defenseman for the future.

    • gospitfires - May 3, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      idonthavethebloodyoucrave- staal might be 6 years older, but he also has had what 15 less concussions. i would be looking to trade skinner now before the next one makes him miss a full season, and the one after that forces him to retire at 26. and to be fair with staal, he was having a great year before he got hurt and im not sure there is a team in the league that wouldnt have had him on the top pairing how he was playing this year.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 3, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Staal was having a better year after putting up a year in which he was a -7 while being on a team that was third in the league in blocking shots and had a Vezina winning goaltender.

        I’m not saying Marc Staal is bad, he’s just not a top 1-2 defensive talent. He’s an excellent second pair talent. Skinner is a top line scoring talent. No comparison.

        You’re also failing to concede that Staal has a serious eye injury for which he might never regain full vision. Skinner and Staal both having medical issues but when comparing the two, Skinner is just far more gifted of a player. A direct swap of Skinner for Staal, if both were completely healthy, would result, rightfully so, in Rutherford never being a GM in the NHL again.

        Not even close to being a fair trade.

  2. mclovinhockey - May 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    “I thought that Hurricane season was over”

    That cap hit… With his current production… They may have to give him away /:

  3. bekay19 - May 3, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Didn’t this team spend last summer re-hauling their forward group?? now they want to part ways with one of the most electric young stars in the game?? I dont think Ward’s injury should be a reason to break things up, then again they will more then likely be doomed with re-alignment next year.

  4. jpelle82 - May 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    should trade him if they can. they really dont need him with the emergence of tlusty and with semin extended they need more role players up front and a stay home defensman to play big minutes. no longer playing fla, tb, wpg all year – moving up to the big leagues against tavares/moulson, giroux/voracek, crosby/malkin, ovechkin/backstrom, nash/richards, kovalchuk/zajac on almost a nightly basis will get embarassing quick if they dont do something on the blue line.

    • sunking1 - May 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Before you go raggin on Carolina “moving up to the big leagues, no longer playing tb…”, just remember that over the last 4 years the Lightning are 14-8-1 against Carolina. They didn’t walk over the Bolts-they got their butts kicked more often than not. I, for one, am sorry to see them go.
      They were the Bolts slumpbuster!!

      • xavier46 - May 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        Yeah, when Tampa no longer plays Carolina, they probably won’t even make the playoffs! Oh, wait…

  5. tfaltin - May 3, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I’d move Skinner. There will be some team willing to take the risk, and they could use help on the back end. Throw in Skinner’s propensity to get hit and miss stretches for head injuries, and I would absolutely field offers for the talented youngster.

  6. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Very few players should bevconsidered untouchable. Bottom line is this, if they can trade him and improve their team, then great. All options should be on the table when you don’t make the playoffs.

  7. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    The kid is young. And honestly, I think he has enough speed/talent to be a high 30s/low 40s goal scorer. Given his age and potential, I could see more than a few teams interested. The thing is, how many teams have good enough defensive prospects without having to surrender a 1st round draft pick. Maybe one or two?

  8. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 3, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Jeff Skinner final 15 games were horrid, he scored only 3 times, had 2 assists while being a -15. He doesn’t do the little things when in a slump to help his team either, with only 2 hits and 3 blocked shots in those final 15. On top of this ugly fact he has concussion issues and a large cap #.

    The Canes won’t get much for him unless they can find a team that is totally over looking the fact that he’s a defensive nightmare and injury risk with a large contract.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      How much of that can be corrected via coaching? Skinner is very talented and naturally skilled. He’s only 20 and every good player has not so good stretches in their career.

      You’re right though, the main concern for anyone who has or would be interested in Skinner is his concussion history. If he stays healthy, there is no doubt Skinner has the skill set and speed to be a first line top scorer on any team.

  9. ashtongronholz8 - May 3, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Skinner for healthy straight up.

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