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Poll: Should the Hurricanes move a big name?

Aug 16, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

Justin Faulk, Alexander Semin, Eric Staal AP

The Carolina Hurricanes have missed the playoffs for five straight seasons, yet they have the bloated core contracts of a perennial contender.

The combined salary cap hits of Eric Staal ($8.25 million), Alexander Semin ($7 million), Cam Ward ($6.3 million), Jordan Staal ($6 million), Jeff Skinner ($5.725 million) and Justin Faulk ($4.83 million) make up a whopping $38.1 million in cap payroll for six players. Again, it would be easier to swallow that bitter pill if the Hurricanes were getting what they’re paying for, yet a good chunk of that money seems ill-placed … at least at the moment.

Carolina’s new management team seems comfortable with sticking with the status quo for now … but should they?

For the sake of fun, let’s ponder this question: who should the Hurricanes get rid of? In the interest of brevity, let’s eliminate Ward (who’d probably be a unanimous choice and carries negligible trade value) and Faulk (too early to really judge his contract compared to other options) from the equation and focus on the forwards.

Feel free to add nuance in the comments, but here’s an abbreviated case for/against moving each guy before you get voting:

Eric Staal – For: He’s really expensive and not quite worth the money. He’s failed to come through for “his team” for long enough that it might be time to part ways, much like Rick Nash with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Against: His trade value is at or around its all-time low.

Jordan Staal – For: The two-way center doesn’t score like most $6 million players are expected to. Against: He tilts the ice in Carolina’s favor quite a bit and might not grab value because of those aforementioned modest point totals.

Semin – For: Even his strongest proponents will admit that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. There are certainly a lot of people who seem to sour on the guy. Against: He still owns one of the deadliest shots in the game and the advanced stats tend to smile upon him, which would likely surprise his biggest detractors.

Skinner – For: He’s had some concussion issues and seems to leave a lot to be desired defensively. Against: His blazing offensive skills could leave the Hurricanes with post-trade regret (see: Seguin, Tyler).

Blow it up – Let’s consider this the “hit rebuild” option, in case you think Carolina should remove three or more prominent players (counting Ward and Faulk, if you feel that’s appropriate).

Stay put – If you agree with new GM Ron Francis that a major makeover isn’t necessary.


OK, that’s the quick version for and against each option, so have at it and feel free to discuss things further in the comments:

  1. esracerx46 - Aug 16, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Trade Cam Ward. Been over paid and over rated for years

    • lordfletcher - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      how? who takes him…

      only a team that needs to bring in cap and Carolina tosses in a pick is the only way I see him being moved.

  2. alicesrightfootesq - Aug 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    This season will be make or break for the Staals, Semin, and Ward. Both Eric and Alex have or are at their peak in terms of ability and aren’t showing any signs of getting better. Jordan has been a disappointment. Cam Ward is beyond repair. If they have big years it buys them some more time but otherwise Carolina needs to blow it up.

  3. habs9 - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    i’d trade Semin, Eric Staal, and DEFINITELY Cam Ward…how long do you continue to excuse a guy cuz he won a cup a million years ago…..extreme exaggeration but you get the point

  4. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Must be a discouraging time to be a Carolina fan – things have not gone well for years, no changes are being made, and unless I’ve missed it, no stud prospect about to join the club and make an immediate impact. Then there’s the cap situation.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:03 AM

      The doldrums of mediocrity. Just good enough to have hope. Yet never good enough to make it anything more than just that.

  5. jinx21fan - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    I voted for blowing it up, so everyone would be on the block. The only problem being these guys would be a hard sell. You’d have to eat salary get low returns to move most of the pieces. Skinner would be the easiest and net highest returns.

    He is well liked, and did win a Cup, but Rutherford left one steaming pile of crap before leaving. I was shocked Pittsburgh hired him, even as a bridge GM.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:09 AM

      I was always under the impression the only reason he hung around for so long was because he was part owner. Still not sure how he can be part owner of one team, yet be the GM of another. Perhaps he sold before he left? I think Pittsburgh’s thinking is he was doing everything in Raleigh. Business and hockey and was stretched too thin. Regardless, he’s another that has become over rated and is being put into the what have you done for me lately category. Lamoriello will be joining him very shortly.

      • jinx21fan - Aug 17, 2014 at 1:10 AM

        Yeah, I’m thinking the Cap has tripped up a lot of the old school guys.

  6. vancouversportsbro - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Win the way the league is they have no choice but to keep their core and run with it. Cam ward they might have to consider trading but I think the staals and skinner are staying put. Their defense looks like the main issue, I can’t name a defender on their team besides justin Faulk.

  7. goacanes87 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    As a ‘Canes fan, I’m entirely not opposed to the “blow it up” option as long as Justin Faulk is kept around. He’s by far one of the Canes top two defensemen and has much more value here than he might elsewhere. That being said, the “blow it up” option doesn’t work as well in the cap era. Not only can teams not easily handle some of these large contracts, but rarely do you get near full value in return. Semin and the Staals have the potential to have big seasons when they’re at the top of their game, the same with Wardo if he can return to form (I’m not sure whether or not he can at this point). The number one task for Coach Peters and his staff is to get these players to play at their full potential.

    • goacanes87 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:58 PM

      meant not entirely opposed…

    • esracerx46 - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      Getting full value is up for interpretation. I think it’s more what you do with what you do get in return as far as picks and development. Scout better, draft better, play better.

      As far as trading players, its all in timing. Teams can usually absorb those big contracts the last year of contract. The timing issue may be the reason for delaying the inevitable.

  8. drivemekrejci - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Khudobin is better than Ward. A team would happily take him and give a decent return, so I think you start there. Use that money and get a D-man somebody can name…

  9. agingwarrior73 - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    The best teams all have very good defense and very good goal tending. Since Wards trade value is low, the hope is he gets healthy and returns to form. And we have Anton. That leaves the defense which is the weak link. Moving a big name on offense for a big name on defense makes sense to be.

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