Bryan Allen

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Free Agency: The Carolina Hurricanes Need Help On Defense

If you follow the Carolina Hurricanes, you know that they need more help on defense than just about any other team in the Southeast division. In fact they have been amongst the worst teams in the NHL at preventing shots on goal, not to mention that they are atrocious at the penalty kill.

Rebuilding a team's defense is always a long-term process and with quite a few young players working their way through the system, the Canes' defense corps is a work in progress.

Carolina's management has a few pieces in house that they can turn to but they must get it done in free agency if they are going to complete this roster and get it shaped up by the start of the NHL se...

Rounding Out The Isles Defense

The Islanders are just a day away from joining 29 other NHL clubs in the festivities of July 1st. To a lot of people, it is just another summer day to be enjoyed outside. For many others, it's a day meant for excitement or anguish which steals one's complete attention for TSN, Twitter and any other fast paced media outlet that will have updates on the opening of NHL Free Agency.

The Isles appear set to be parting ways with Mark Eaton, Steve Staios, Milan Jurcina and perhaps their most important free agent, PA Parenteau. The latter has served as an important member on the team's top line for the past two seasons and is coming off his biggest year, likely to command a long term contract and a significant pay raise on the open market.

The previously mentioned defenseman will not receive any grief for signing elsewhere. In fact, many Islanders fans will probably be overjoyed that they will have the opportunity to see aging veterans replaced by young, upcoming talent from within the organization.

Islanders Have Tough Off-Season Decisions to Make

With the New York Islanders heading into another off-season without a playoff berth, the team will look to solidify its young core through the NHL draft, trades, and signings of free agents. (Robert Kowal/Flickr)

While the Isles might not be fortunate enough to land Nail Yakupov in this year's NHL Entry Draft, the team should focus on trying to scout the best defenseman out of this year's draft. Names like Trouba, Dumba, Rielly, Murray, and Reinhart are headlining the list of premier d-men that will be available to the Islanders come draft day in June.
Drafting a young defenseman will probably be the right choice for the Isles, but one can't simply ignore that New York has holes to fill for the 2012-2013 NHL Season. Mike Mottau, Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton, and Steve Staios tried to do their jobs as veteran rearguards, but it was painfully obvious on certain nights that the Islanders' d-men were simply outmatched. If the Islanders want to stay in contention in a highly competitive Atlantic Division, then General Manager Garth Snow must exhaust all of his resources toward signing or acquiring a top 4 defenseman.

Blues Face Deadline Decisions

 

With the NHL trade deadline looming upon us, less than a week away, it is time to consider what options the Blues have. Although, in my humble opinion, and the thoughts of many other Blues fans I presume, it may be enough to sit back on this team and let the return of injured players account for any adjustment they may want to make. Because the worst thing that can come from any trade at the deadline is a rut in established team chemistry. Either way, whatever route the Blues decide to take, it is always fun to consider some trades that they could make.

 

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Deadline Reality Check: Defensemen

Like every other fan, I'll throw out a crazy trade possibility or nine this time of year. As hockey fans, it's typical to lose rationality in the month leading up to deadline day, an unofficial holiday in my book. 

As Red Wings fans, this tendency is even stronger due to past deadline deals that brought Hall of Famers such as Chelios to Hockeytown. The salary cap era has stifled Ken Holland's freewheeling deals but with the Wings sitting atop the standings with over $5 million in cap space, many think a big splash is coming.

I think the Wings are going to make a lot of noise... in the summer, especially if Lidstrom and Holmstrom retire an...

Hurricanes Turn Eye to Signing for Depth and Future

After their first week of free agency focused on replacing scoring from the wing and swapping one accomplished defenseman for another, the Carolina Hurricanes  turned in-house with signings of some younger players (all 24 or under) who have started making an impact in the NHL.

Five players inked deals starting July 8, with center Brandon Sutter and blue-liner Derek Joslin on the NHL roster while forward Brett Sutter and defensemen Brett Bellemore and Bobby Sanguinetti all signed two-way deals and will likely start the season with the AHL-affiliate Charlotte Checkers. The signings, even those only for one year, continue a pattern of instilling solid depth and development ...