Cary, NC – Opening night is just two months away and GM Ron Francis has been given plenty of accolades for his mastership of deals he’s been able to close this summer.
New Signees for the Summer
Last week he signed the Brett Pesce to a six-year deal that starts in the 2018-19 season. That’s on top of the six-year deal he signed Jaccob Slavin to a few weeks ago. Noah Hanfin is the last wiz kid defenseman that has not signed an extension yet and while there’s no rush as he, like both Slavin and Pesce, is on his entry level contract for this season, I’m sure Francis wants to close that deal sooner rather than later on the former first round selection.
Francis also got Marcus Kruger from the Las Vegas Golden Knights by trading a draft pick and Trevor van Riemsdyk (TVR) also on a trade of a draft pick with Vegas. TVR played and was a roommate of Pesce at the University of New Hampshire so it should be fun to see how those two interact on the ice. Kruger may be penciled in at this time to be the center on the third or fourth line. His salary may be on the high side for a center not on a top line but he does play a typical two-way game that Swedes are known for: tight checking, good ice sense and few mistakes. He may not be as good as Jay McClement was on face-offs but count on Rod Brind’Amour helping in that category.
I can’t help but think Francis wants to make one more deal before the season starts, however deals and talent at the right position are very hard to come by. It’s been an unusual off-season with folks saying the Free Agents (both RFA and UFA) are fewer than normal and the always debatable, their talent level. Some of the signings appeared to be inflated salaries for the talent which is my guess why Francis passed on a few players.
Some Canes that don’t live here year-round are now trickling back and are starting both skating and work outs. Anyone brave enough to join Brind’Amour on a work-out is certainly welcome, but they better be prepared to have a work out like they never seen before. The Canes are usually one of the best fit teams, which says a lot as all players know the days of taking the whole summer off is long gone. The speed and physicality of the game today requires every player to be in peak physical condition starting before camp starts.
Camp is just weeks away and as usual the Canes will have plenty of fans based activities, including the Fun Run which is a great fund raiser. The Redvolution and Opening Day signs will be available for free at the PNC Arena very soon.
Rumors about Canes Being Sold
The press about the Canes being sold is all press. There’s no way anyone other than Karmanos will know what’s going on. Some groups cite the Canes are worth “only” in the $230 million range then we hear the sale may be for $480-500 million. Karmanos is a brilliant businessman and the last word printed on the sale was to the effect, “if this gets delayed, the price goes up.” What a great line, but this is all posturing. The man has a great love for the sport and certainly is behind the Canes staying in Raleigh and that has to be a topic for any possible sale.
The one thing that will take the conversation off the table is more fannies in seats. The Canes did not have a great product on the ice in years past. Last year was the best in a long time. This year’s team will be even better. The excitement and speed of the game is amazing to see in person.
The CaryCitizen.com will be having its annual special will the details to be announced shortly. There are no better deals available anywhere so stay tuned. Go Canes!