Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: defensemen
On Friday night, the Hurricanes did what they said they would do. They drafted the “best player available” by selecting defenseman Ryan Murphy from the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. Most pundits had him going in the top ten, and many had him pegged to be selected eighth. While flashy (and big) forwards like Joel Armia and Sven Bartschi were still available, they went with little defenseman, who is just 5’11 and 176 pounds.
I’m not a big fan.
Carolina’s traditional modus operandi has been to draft defensemen in late rounds to load up the system and to acquire NHL-ready defensemen via trade. They have not had any success when they’ve selected a defenseman in the first round. I’ll get to that in a bit, but first, I’ll look at Murphy.
The Hurricanes have trimmed their training camp roster to 33 players, and with the regular season just 10 days away, there are still quite a few lineup issues to be resolved. The most intriguing issue is the blueline. There are still nine defensemen in camp, and only three of them—Joe Corvo, Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkänen—are guaranteed roster spots. And this doesn’t count the enigmatic and AWOL David (aka “Avi”, aka “Snuggles”) who has not shown up for camp and claims he is still concussed.
The News&Observer has opened the floor for the debate: How will the defensive pairings be filled out? Everybody agrees that Gleason, Pitkänen and Corvo are in the top four. The debate is about who among Anton Babchuk, Tim Conboy, Frantisek Kaberle, Josef Melichar, Dennis Seidenberg and Nic Wallin will play every night, who will be a healthy scratch, who will be relegated to Albany, and finally who will be traded to Los Angeles. To make matters more confusing, free agent Bryan Rodney is among the last men standing after another round of cuts on Sunday.
Filed in: Carolina Hurricanes, | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
Tags: anton+babchuk, bryan+rodney, carolina+hurricanes, david+tanabe, defensemen, dennis+seidenberg, frantisek+kaberle, joe+corvo, joni+pitkanen, josef+melichar, nick+wallin, tim+conboy, tim+gleason