Kukla's Korner

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The Carolina Hurricanes Without Dougie Hamilton

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

There’s no replacing Hamilton, who picked up where he left off last season as an offensive dynamo, not only creating chances for others but finishing them himself, and doing a far more credible job in his own end at the same time. Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce were already shouldering a heavy load as part of the defensive foundation with Hamilton; their nights aren’t going to get any shorter. Slavin played 25:23, third-most this season, in Friday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Pesce played 25:34, second-most for him.

That’s the new normal for both in the post-Hamilton reality. The Hurricanes are hoping the way they played isn’t. Hamilton’s absence alone doesn’t excuse a dismal performance against a Western Conference bottom-feeder after Sebastian Aho staked the Hurricanes to the lead in the first four minutes.

“That’s a huge part of our team missing,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “But we have a lot of guys in there. I don’t think we were sharp. That was clearly evident.”

The Hurricanes were in the market for a top-four capable defenseman before Hamilton went down, but that quest was upgraded from “if possible” to “by all means necessary.” Unfortunately for them, everyone else in the NHL knows it. Whatever the prices they saw before were, they just went up. Fortunately, they have the salary-cap space to do it, and maybe even add a veteran depth guy as well. Ideally sooner rather than later.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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