Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: chad larose
Things have been a little crazy this summer in Carolina. The UFA situation is muddy one minute, clear the next. Negotiations with the players have gone from “we’re nowhere near” to “there should be a signing any second now” and back again. Sometimes, those tidal flows occur several times a day.
All summer long, the assumption was that Joni Pitkänen would become a UFA, but he surprised everybody by signing a three-year contract renewal with no pay raise. It was also assumed that Chad LaRose would look for greener pastures in the Free Agent market. Today, there was another unexpected turn when the 29-year old Sharpie signed a two-year valued at a total of $3.4M. The contract is identical to the one that he signed in the summer of 2009: the first of two years at $1.5M and the second at $1.9M.
This summer has already been pretty crazy for the Hurricanes, and the free agency period hasn’t even begun. With daily ebbs and flows regarding the progress (or lack of same) being made with contract negotiations, certain players have been generally regarded as “as good as gone” while others have been viewed as “sure-thing renewals”. Today, for the milllionth day in a row, there was a big wrinkle. One that I never expected.
Defenseman Joni Pitkänen was written off by most fans. He was the one player who most believed to be the one who was being the most difficult with his negotiations. And then today, he of all people was the first of the four “big” UFAs to re-sign. He has signed a three-year contract renewal at $4.5M per season. Although the particulars aren’t available just yet, we’ll assume that it’s $4.5 in each season, rather than 4 / 4.5 / 5 or something like that. This is, incidentally, the same salary that Pitkänen got last season (with a cap hit of $4M).
When I wrote the other day about how the cap floor might give the Canes fits, I guessed at how the UFA situations would pan out. I posited that rugged fourth-line winger Patrick Dwyer would get a two-year renewal at a $650k cap hit per season. I was only off by a few pennies. Today, they signed the 28-year old native of Spokane, WA to a two-year renewal with a cap hit of $625k per season.
I also wrote that Dwyer is the new Chad LaRose and that fans better get used to the idea of Sharpie being out of the picture. It’s not that I don’t like LaRose; contrarily, he’s one of my favourite players on the team. It’s just that a team with a very tight budget can’t afford to pay Chad LaRose the way that they just paid him. He made $1.9M this past season with a cap hit of $1.7M. This is a reversal of stance from two summers ago when I said that he deserved every penny (and then some) of the huge pay raise. It may sound a little contradictory for me to say that the Canes are going to have a rough time getting to the floor, then in the same breath say that they can’t afford to see/raise Chad LaRose, but I’ll try to make sense of it.
The other day, I wrote about how Carolina’s thriftiness would make it difficult to reach the new salary cap floor of $48.3M. Compounding that was their lack of any progress with any of their own prospective UFAs. Since the draft, things have taken a turn and it seems like at least three of the four key UFAs will be re-signing.
Also, the Canes made a bit of an unexpected move by not offering qualifying sheets to RFAs Jiri Tlusty and Troy Bodie. The 5:00 pm deadline came and went and they are now officially on the market, waiting for the bell to ring on Friday. (Nearly) everybody else got qualifying sheets.
First, a quick word about the RFAs, then a look at the UFA situation. Then something about Sutter.
At this point in the season, the Hurricanes have to view every game as a “must win” and they know that they are also going to need some outside help to get into the playoffs. They entered play Tuesday night three points behind the eighth place Sabres. The Canes held up their end of the deal with a 4-3 win over the visiting Senators.
Cam Ward made 36 saves and Chad Sharpie LaRose had two goals to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 third period lead. The Sens scored a late goal to make it a one-goal game, then they prevented Sharpie from completing the hat trick. The regulation win temporarily put the Canes just one point back of the Sabres, who were playing in Montréal, but the Canadiens didn’t do Carolina any favours. Buffalo ended up winning 2-0, maintaining their three point lead over Carolina.
Carolina will be off until Friday, when they will play a back-to-back home-and-home with Tampa. Buffalo’s schedule will be much lighter: a Friday/Saturday home set against Florida and New Jersey. In order to stay in contention, Carolina will have to win at least one of those Tampa games, and obviously they prefer to win both. New Jersey has run out of luck, out of steam and out of time. They’re not going to roll over for Buffalo, but they now know that their miraculous run is over and that they’re not going to make the playoffs.
On Friday night, the Hurricanes sent Rod Brind’Amour’s sweater to the rafters, where it will hang alongside Ron Francis and Glen Wesley. New NHL regulations dictate that sweater retirement ceremonies must take place before the pre-game skate, and the pre-game skate can be no more than 30 minutes before puck drop. So the ceremony was at 7:00 and the game at 8:00.
The ceremony was excellent and Roddy handled it very well. He doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention, but he handled himself and the spotlight quite well. During the pre-game skate, every player from both teams wore special sweaters with Brind’Amour’s name and number. It was appropriate since Brindy played all but a handful of games for the two franchises. Still, I thought it was a display of tremendous class from the Flyers.
Carolina had great jump coming out of the gates, and they got off to an early 2-0 lead. Philly pushed back, killed a ton of penalties, climbed back in it and got an equalizing goal late in the third. It looked like the game was headed to overtime, but Erik Cole brought the over-capacity crowd to its feet with his second game-winning goal in the last three games.
On Thursday, in the fourth of a tough five-game stretch, the Hurricanes played a sound game against the road-weary Rangers and ended up with a convincing 4-1 win. The five game stretch got off to a great start with a 6-4 win at home against the Lightning last Saturday. That was followed by a lackluster performance in a blowout 7-0 loss at Boston on Monday. The next day, Carolina played a much better game, but still lost 3-2 in regulation to the Bs. They have gained four of the eight available points so far and are still in fair shape, only two points behind the Thrashers with two games in hand. Up next is a Saturday game at Pittsburgh, who will likely be without Sidney Crosby.
Tonight, the newly formed second line of Jeff Skinner / Tuomo Ruutu / Chad LaRose did the heavy lifting. Skinner and Sharpie each had a goal and an assist while Ruutu pitched in with two assists. Jussi Jokinen scored again and Brandon Sutter lit the lamp for the first time in 16 games.
Cam Ward made 39 saves to earn the win.
On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes will travel to Toronto, where they will try to pull out of a three-game losing skid. Their opponent for tonight, the Maple Leafs, has been a disappointment to the home team fans. At one point this season, a Leafs fan was so upset with his team that he threw a waffle onto the Air Canada Centre ice. This earned the fan a permanent ban from all events in the ACC and all other venues governed by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Carolina will hope to upset the home crowd tonight, and will be on the lookout for flying Christmas fruitcakes.
I’m on the road and haven’t been able to see any of the action since last Monday, but I know that the Canes have had enough of losing by the score of 3-2.
Tim Gleason, who was exiled to the dressing room for the bulk of Sunday’s game, will be back on the ice, and that’ll be a big boost to Carolina’s blue line. He was sent off for a questionable charging call late in the first period of the game against Washington and assessed a game misconduct. He hasn’t and won’t apologise for the hit, which started a Rube Goldberg-esque chain of events that culminated in Mathieu Perreault lying bloody on the ice. Gleason hit Perreault, who had his stick high, bracing for the hit. The stick snapped and ended up hitting and cutting Perreault’s face. Because of this, he fell face-first to the ice and broke his nose.
Lately, the Carolina Hurricanes have, on alternate nights, scored seven goals or given up seven goals. On Wednesday night, they were the former. It might have had something to do with a parking space.
While the Canes are in the midst of Rebuild v2.1, the Sens were a team with a lot other than hockey on their mind. Because of the tragic events with the 14-year old daughter of assistant coach Luke Richardson, the team didn’t travel or practice according to schedule this week. They played with heavy hearts and minds elsewhere, but the Hurricanes had a job to do. And they did it quite well.
Behind a terrific five (3/2) point night from captain Eric Staal, the Hurricanes thrashed the Senators 7-1 and will take their show up to the Consol Energy Center on Friday night.
On Tuesday night in San Jose, Carolina earned a convincing win against the Sharks by the score of 5-2. They have done in five games what took them 19 games to do last season: win three games.
Eric Staal, who I called out earlier in the day, had a great game with a goal and an assist. Chad LaRose, who has been the invisible man in four games, had a fantastic game with a goal and two assists and was named the first star of the game. Rookie Jeff Skinner had a remarkable game. Cam Ward also had a very good and very important game. The boys looked good in almost every aspect.
Starting with the trading deadline back in March, the Hurricanes have been undergoing a slow, and steady but very drastic shift to a younger team. That’s pretty well known by now, but for some reason it really struck me today when I was slapped in the face with the reality that 28-year old Chad LaRose will be the fifth oldest player on the opening night roster on October 7.
On Opening day last season, only Eric Staal, Cam Ward, Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen, Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason were younger than Sharpie, but this fall, he will find himself very much on the other end of the spectrum. Adam Gold and Joe Ovies from 99.9 The Fan had LaRose on the show today and they joked about how he’s getting long in the tooth. The only four players older than #59 are 33-year old Joe Corvo and Sergei Samsonov, Erik Cole and Tom Kostopoulos, all of whom are 31. By contrast, last season’s opening day roster had seven guys older than Corvo.
On Thursday night, the new-look Carolina Hurricanes took to the ice with a very different team, but the result was the same. A win. They defeated Matt Cullen and the visiting Ottawa Senators 4-1 to earn their seventh straight win. Remarkably, they remain in the playoff hunt, and they’ve turned from the league’s worst team to the league’s hottest team.
Manny Legace made 25 saves and was the game’s first star. Newly recalled Zach Boychuk pitched in two assists. The newly acquired Brian Pothier dished out three hits and five blocked shots. The Canes got goals from Tom Kostopoulos, Rod Brind’Amour, Chad LaRose and an empty netter from Brandon Sutter. Matt Cullen notched his first goal as a Sen.
The Hurricanes sent a total of four players from three different nations to the Olympic games this February, and all four players returned with hardware. They are one of three NHL teams that had players from each of the three medal-winning countries. Joni Pitk#&228;nen and Tuomo Ruutu won bronze for Finland. Tim Gleason won silver for the USA, and Eric Staal won gold for Canada. Staal became just the 23rd player in history to win an IIHF World Championship, an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup.
These players spent two weeks playing against each other, and they returned to being teammates without missing a beat. The Canes headed into the break as the hottest team in the league, and they continued their ways on Tuesday with a 5-1 win over the lowly Maple Leafs.
Justin Peters, in just his third NHL start, got his third win against a team that has clearly given up. He got the game’s first star and continues to prove himself to be a very capable NHL goaltender. Also in the game, Chad LaRose returned from injury to score a shorthanded goal and pitch in two assists. Not bad. Second star for him. Jussi Jokinen, who was left off the Finnish national team, scored the game-winning goal.
Tonight’s matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes is not only two of the worst teams in the league, and not only a rematch of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. It’s a game between two of the most banged-up teams in the league. The Oilers have lost 306 man-games to injury (which is most in the league) while the Hurricanes have lost 217 man-games (third in the league).
Carolina has started to get some of their regulars back Before they can talk about Joe Corvo, Erik Cole, Tuomo Ruutu or Scott Walker coming back, they’ve unfortunately had to add a player (back) to the injured list. Chad “Sharpie” LaRose suffered an “upper body injury” in the Hawks game and is not on the four-game road trip.
The team has not announced any call-ups from Albany, and they have not been using any healthy scratches, so I have no idea what the game plan is for tonight.
Carolina extended their streak of earning points to five games with an impressive 3-1 win over the visiting Bolts. It was only the second regulation win of the season for Carolina and it snapped a streak of four straight overtime games and three straight shootouts.
Brandon Sutter had a four game point streak snapped, but still played a good game. Jussi Jokinen extended his points streak to four games with the game-winning goal. In the past four games he has three goals and an assist.
Manny Legace played with confidence, played well, and had the guys in front of him play well. It was probably the most complete game this team has played all season.
After a couple of rough days, the Hurricanes and Chad LaRose have finally come to terms. This is a two-year deal worth a total of $3.4M, Sharpie will make $1.5M in 2009-10 and $1.9M in 2010-11.
Perhaps LaRose found the market to be not as awesome as he figured it might be. Frankly, I’m surprised that he wasn’t snatched up quickly. I guess this ends any speculation about signing any forwards out of free agency.
Anyone who watched the Eastern Conference final series would say that LaRose was Carolina’s best skater in that series. In fact, he was one of Carolina’s best players throughout the playoffs. He finished the postseason with 11 points (4/7) points in 18 games. In the regular season, he set a new career best with 19 goals and tied his career best with 12 assists for a new career best of 31 points in 81 games played.
The rugged, versatile forward is much more than a utility guy who will do a good job as a top six fill-in. He’s a great teammate, a great guy in the room and a very popular player with the fans.
After a rollercoaster couple of days when we were told that the Hurricanes and Chad LaRose were miles apart, then told that they were getting close, we’ve now been told that it’s over. Jim Rutherford put his final, final, totally final, absolutely final offer on the table earlier this afternoon. LaRose’s agent said that they would call Rutherford back “in an hour”.
Rutherford’s phone still ain’t ringing. He assumes that it still ain’t LaRose. He assumes that LaRose has something else working and he claims that the Canes are working on signing someone else. There’s no indication of who it might be, but I suspect that Mike Zigomanis might find his way back to Raleigh before the dust settles. The Penguins have parted ways with him (and also with defenseman Rob Scuderi).——>EDIT<—— I should apologize for jumping the gun here. While the Pens have decided to move on without Mike Zigomanis, they have NOT made that decision about Rob Scuderi. The only thing they have done is allowed him to enter the free agent market, where he remains unsigned. They’re still trying to iron out a deal with him, and although some reports indicate that the Penguins are going to look elsewhere, they haven’t given up on those negotiations.
I had a few guys on my wish list, and they’re already gone.
Today is the last day for teams to re-sign their potential UFAs before they enter the market at noon on Wednesday. Everyone in Raleigh was hoping that an announcement would come that the team had come to terms with Chad LaRose. It didn’t. As expected, there was also no announcement about Erik Cole. Jim Rutherford has made it clear that he will not initiate any more negotiations with them. He has put “final offers” on the table. Ryan Bayda has also declined Carolina’s “final offer” and will test the free agent market. Although no doors are permanently shut and no bridges are burned, this has ruffled Jim Rutherford’s feathers.
“If they go into tomorrow then they’re obviously making the choice to go somewhere else,” he said. “We’ve given our best offer within our budget to try to keep them, and at this point it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”
Contrast that quote with one about Jussi Jokinen, which I’ll point to later in this post.
Rutherford has also pledged not to be aggressive in the FA market and might wait until August to sign anyone. He went as far as to tell Puck Daddy that the only thing he’d be signing on July 1 would be a birthday card to his cousin. ...
So we’ve got a few days before the Awards Show, then another week before the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Carolina will have the 27th overall pick, and most prognosticators are saying that Carolina will draft a defenseman.
A few days after the draft, the real fun begins. The free agent signing period. Carolina has never been a big spender in the FA signing period, and I don’t expect them to be this summer. Their primary focus will be on re-signing the guys they have, then picking someone up in the bargain bin. Last summer, they were inactive in the FA market, but made the blockbuster trade with the Oilers, sending Erik Cole that way for Joni Pitkänen.
This summer, while some people are dreaming up elaborate ways to get Dany Heatley here, I expect little if any activity from the Hurricanes camp. At least not as far as the forwards are concerned.
On Sunday night, the Hurricanes played a much better game than they did on Thursday. In the end, the score was 3-0. The series is now tied at one and has become a best of five series where Carolina has the home ice advantage.
Cam Ward was absolutely on fire, completing his fourth career postseason shutout. Eric Staal decided to take things into his own hands, and as I said before, things can get ugly when that happens.
Now, it would be crazy for Carolina to break their arms patting themselves on the back. Carolina was indeed very good tonight, but the fact of the matter is that the Bruins were sloppy. At times, they were flat out bad. They looked like they were at McGreevy’s getting hammered until the wee hours this morning. If that’s indeed the case, a special thanks goes to their wonderful bartender Amanda.
Carolina is up 2-0 at the second intermission, and it almost became 3-0. Chad LaRose came as close to scoring a goal as you can. With about two seconds left in the period, Dennis Seidenberg fired a shot from center ice that was stopped by Thomas. The Bruins decided not to play to the buzzer, but Chad LaRose did. The rebound kicked out to Sharpie, whose rebound chance hit the right post and rolled on edge along the goal line. The ruling on the ice was no goal, and the Situation Room confirmed the call.
As the play was under review, I was thinking “where have I seen that exact goal before?”. Then it dawned on me. Lake Placid, 1980. End of period one, Miracle on Ice. The exact same play. Except that Mark Johnson buried his chance and Sharpie clanged the heavy metal.
On Sunday night, the Hurricanes had their back against the wall in their own building. They responded with easily their best game of the series and a 4-0 shutout over the Devils. The series will move back to Newark for the decisive game seven on Tuesday.
Eric Staal had two goals and an assist. Ray Whitney had the game winner and three assists. Cam Ward pitched a perfect 28 save shutout.
This has been a beautiful series and is about as evenly matched as it could be. Each team has had one easy win. Each team has had one shutout. Each team has had an overtime win. This has been as advertised and then some. It’s a shame that neither team is named “Pittsburgh” or “Washington”, or there would have been more national teevee….
Holy cow! A miracle at the RBC Center!
Jussi Jokinen deflected the game-winning goal with two tenths of a second left. The last time I saw anything like that was when Kevyn Adams scored a shorthanded overtime goal with one tenth of a second left at Atlanta on March 5, 2004.
Carolina dominated the first 39 minutes of the game, building a 3-0 lead. Eric Staal and Ryan Bayda scored one minute apart in the opening frame to give the media (and Carolina fans) what they wanted: a game where Carolina took the lead. The Canes also did what every Canes blogger was begging them to do: they shot the puck. And they established a forecheck and offensive pressure. And they forced New Jersey to take penalties. And they got physical. And they neutralized Parise/Zajac.
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Tags: brian+gionta, carolina+hurricanes, chad+larose, dainius+zubrus, dennis+seidenberg, eric+staal, jussi+jokinen, new+jersey+devils, playoffs, tuomo+ruutu
On Thursday night, the Hurricanes won their seventh straight game and their tenth in a row at home. The latter is a new franchise record. The final score was 4-2, with Eric Staal and Rod Brind’Amour each scoring one and Chad LaRose notching two, including the game-winner.
Simultaneous with the start of the game, Chad LaRose was featured on the NHL Network’s “A Day in the Life”. Most of the program surrounded him antagonizing Sean Avery in the March 9 game between these same two teams. It was a big day for the little guy.
Carolina has now leapfrogged Pittsburgh and Philly into fourth place. The Canes have 93 standings points and four remaining games. They still haven’t guaranteed a playoff spot, but this makes it almost a certainty.
The Hurricanes will be back on the ice tonight after having a four day break. Tonight’s game against the Rangers will be the first of four straight home games for the Canes, who have won nine in a row at the RBC Center. They also have a six game overall win streak on the line.
If the Hurricanes can continue their winning ways, they’ll find themselves in fourth place, and they’ll be able to fully entertain the idea of having home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
Also, don’t forget to set the DVR. Chad LaRose will be the featured player in the NHL Network’s “A Day in the Life” series. They followed him around on March 9, when the Rangers were last in town. The Canes won 3-0, but LaRose didn’t have any scoring points that night. Still, it should be a lot of fun
On Thursday, The Carolina Hurricanes will be featured in two programs on the NHL Network. At least in the United States.
At 2:00, they’ll be re-airing the show “Relive the Magic: 2006 Carolina Hurricanes” (US Only). Rod Brind’Amour and Cam Ward sit with Canes fan and indie rock icon Mac McCaughan (Superchunk and Portastatic) as they watch Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final and talk about it.
Then at 7:00 in both Canada and the US, they’ll debut “A Day in the Life: Chad LaRose”. I’ve enjoyed this series so far, and LaRose is a goofball, so it should be a lot of fun. Canes fans will be watching (or attending) the home game against the Rangers, which is exactly why the DVR was invented. The LaRose program will re-air several times throughout the following week.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Carolina’s remaining schedule, and I picked out this three game road trip that just ended. I figured that the Canes would have been lucky to get two points out of the Vancouver / San Jose / Phoenix swing. Tonight, they smoked the Coyotes 7-2. Coupled with the big win in San Jose, they secured four points (and pissed two away).
Last season, the Hurricanes missed the playoffs by two points. There’s usually a team that misses out by one point or two. It’s easy for that team to look back a their schedule and pick out games that they gave away, pointing fingers at a game that slipped away. Hopefully, Carolina will find themselves in the playoffs and will be able to look back favorably at the big wins in tough buildings (San Jose and Phoenix).
Sergei Samsonov had a huge night for the Canes, racking up four (1/3) points while Tuomo Ruutu added another three (2/1). It was a good night all around as both specialty teams scored.
On Monday night, the Hurricanes did something they hadn’t done in nearly two weeks: they won. After losing five in a row including a pair of 5-1 undressings, the Canes finally got off the schneid. Cam Ward was brilliant between the pipes and the Canes got goals from Joe (s)Corvo and Chad “Sharpie” LaRose to beat the Leafs 2-0. They will take their one game winning “streak” to Pittsburgh on Tuesday before taking an entire week off for the ASG.
Corvo’s power play goal was one of his patented laser beams from the top of the left circle late in the second. It was his fourth game-winning goal and his eighth marker overall. LaRose scored a back-breaking insurance goal with just four and a half seconds left in the second period. However, it was the Hurricanes penalty killing and the outstanding play of Cam Ward that took center stage.
On Saturday, the Hurricanes needed some big-time heroics from goaltender Cam Ward to hang on to a 4-3 victory. Although he was on the bench for the two previous games, he wasn’t the least bit rusty. He made 57 saves, including a stop on a penalty shot with less than one second to play in regulation. He was easily the game’s first star by anyone’s account. Except, of course, the Islanders radio network, which picks the “official” three stars. Somehow, they left Ward off the card entirely. Although the game ended well, it wasn’t all pie and cake for Carolina.
The Hurricanes got off to a good start, pushing off to a 2-0 lead early in the first. The last time the Hurricanes led a game 2-0 was March 28 of last season in a 7-1 win over the Thrashers. Throughout the second and third periods, the Canes committed one penalty after another, putting themselves perpetually on the PK. The good news is that the defense responded well to that, killing seven of eight penalties. But there was bad news They gave up a shorthanded goal, and they lost two players to injury.