Canes Twitter Franchise Mode: Rebuilding on the Fly

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My team isn’t as bad as I thought it would be! Hooray!

A lot of questions surround the Canes this season, especially on defense. Can three rookies hold the fort on defense this season? Will any be able to grow into legitimate top four talent? What about goaltending? Does Greg Darby adequately replace Ned? Will an underwhelming fourth line hurt the Canes in the long run? Hopefully not. This is one of the youngest teams in the NHL, and we have a lot of rookies on the roster. I’m looking forward to this season, but I face some tough decisions ahead.

My second line center was out for a bit, and I had to make a decision. Do I play my seventh defenseman in a fourth line role, or do I make the call to Charlotte? I went with the seventh defenseman, and it worked out perfectly. We went just above .500 during the time he was out, which I consider a success.

January rolls around, and I’m faced with another tough decision. Jon is out for a week, and my defense isn’t good enough to fully replace him. It’s also getting closer to the deadline, and I’m barely in a playoff spot. Do I sell off some assets that I know I can’t re-sign? That might be a good option.

The coach comes up to me in my office after practice one day, and he looks concerned. “Matt, I’m not sure that we’re good enough to contend this year. We’re not scoring a lot outside of our first line, and I don’t know what to do. What are our options?” Sit down, coach. You’re not going to like this. “We have to trade Tom.” I say, and Mr. Coach Guy looks stunned. (It’s French, I think) “We don’t have the cap space to give him what he wants, and it doesn’t look like the cap will go up enough to give us breathing room.” “We need better defense, and we need to have a deeper roster. One scoring line won’t cut it. We need at least three.” After some time to process, Coach Guy looks at me. “You have a deal in place, don’t you.” He says. I look back, and say “Pittsburgh called a few moments ago. Benjamin De Vries, a first round pick, and a seventh round pick for Tom and Buffalo’s second.” Coach Guy actually looks impressed, and he should be. “For a rental? That’s crazy!” And he goes back to inform Tom of the decision. Tom understood his role when he signed here. Be a part of the best team in hockey and win a cup in the first year, and then get traded to help the team grow in the second year. It’s a business. Tom’s production won’t easily be replaced, but I’m impressed with De Vries. In a limited role on a bad team, he’s put up 11 points as a 20 year old. He’ll be given second pairing minutes next to Jon, who has been pretty solid as of late. It gives us three pairs to work with instead of just one. De Vries was a player that GM Matt and his team had their eyes on a few years ago. They were impressed with his defensive abilities, but his skating and shooting were off the charts. A scout called him “the next Jake Bean,” which is great to hear. The first round pick adds more leverage, as it’s currently a lottery pick. I pack up my things, and prepare for the backlash from the fan base.

Holy crap, the Canes shut out the Habs 8-0. They also had three straight shutouts against the Kings, Devils, and Islanders.

It’s a quiet trade deadline in Raleigh. The phone lines had been busy for a while now, but no trades were good enough for me to bat an eye at. I’m not sure how we did it, but we’ve climbed from fifth to first in the division since trading Tom. The rest of the league was quiet as well, with only minor trades going through.

I forgot to add De Vries to the NHL lineup, so whoopsies. Now the team will have an offensive option on the second pair, which will hopefully get the second or third lines to contribute as well.

Wooooo playoffs!

In 14 games with the Canes, De Vries was able to score twice and add two assists. He’ll get better once the team gets better.

Season Stats

Max: 33p

Jon: 25p

Meg: 36-18-8, 12 shutouts

Blake: 45p

ChanceofPlayoffs: 28-26-11

Me: 50p

Michael: 34-24-3

Neha: 86p

Caniac: 36p

Nathaniel: 31-32-7, 7 shutouts. Lol

KingGeorgey: 6p

Ombudsman: 25p

Ocarina: 20p

JT: 70p, a career high

Justin: 45p

Mike: 66p

Hockeyprof: 46p

Omar: 57p

Tom: 59p

Vince: 36p

Patrick: 36-27-6

Barron: 2p

Wade: 7-8-0

Christopher: 21p

I really skimmed through this, so I’m sorry if I missed your player. I’m tired, and I promise that it’s not on purpose.

Playoffs

The Canes take the Blue Jackets to game seven in the first round, but end up losing 3-1. Thank goodness, I really didn’t want to do a full playoffs recap. I’m just trying to get to the draft before passing out on my bed.

Miscellaneous

Congratulations to Hockeyprof and the Islanders on winning the Stanley Cup! It was a hard fought battle, but they pulled ahead and won in six games!

Jake Bean won the Norris, so good for him.

Neha scored 47 goals this season, good for the Rocket Richard trophy!

Draft

My pick from Pittsburgh ended up being the tenth overall pick. Not great, in my opinion.

I have the 10th, 24th, and 25th overall picks in this draft. Hopefully one of those picks will turn into something good, but I won’t hold my breath.

GM Matt looks across the table at his scouts, who see that Sean Hawes is still available. Hawes was a projected top ten pick in a weaker draft class, but his age kept him out of the top five. As a late birthday, Hawes was at a distinct disadvantage in the draft. Still, the scouts liked what they saw out of Hawes. A two way right winger with unreal speed, great physical strength, and great shooting. “With the 10th overall pick, the Carolina Hurricanes are proud to select Sean Hawes from the Kingston Frontenacs.” Hawes is revealed to be an 83 overall with medium elite potential, the best in the draft class so far. Montreal ends up taking a power forward RW that’s 84 overall, but I already have Gauthier. GM Matt sees a few players he liked go off the boards, but notices another offensive defenseman still up for grabs. At 19 years old, Maurice Pelletier could be a great offensive defenseman for the Canes. He gets selected, and I’m impressed with his skating and defense right off the bat. His offense hasn’t developed, though.

My next pick was disappointing. I thought I’d get a steal with a 20 year old, but he ended up just being okay. I flipped him to Washington for the 26th overall pick and the 88th overall pick. Laurent Labelle is my next pick, a defensive defenseman that’s a bit of a project. Still, he’s got more potential than the last guy I drafted, so we’ll see how it works out.

GM Matt risks it again. The scouts have determined that Riley O’Byrne from the Erie otters is the real deal at 20 years old, and so he decides to roll with it. “You do realize that if he ends up crashing and burning, that one of you is getting fired, right?” The scouts remain adamant that O’Byrne is good, so the pick is made. The scouts come through, thankfully. O’Byrne is a 76 overall sniper on the left side that’s got medium top six potential. He’s very physical for a sniper, and his hockey IQ is elite. Shooting is a little weak for a player that’s listed as a goal scorer, but I won’t complain yet.

Francis Goalie, an offensive defenseman (ironic) was an okay pick for the third round. Needs some work, but it’s fine.

“Do you have a goalie on your list, Matt?” A scout asks, and I realize that I haven’t drafted a goalie in quite some time. We look at the lists, and draft Ville Kuukka from Jukurit. He’s not bad, but his ceiling is an 83 overall goalie at best.

“What about Daniel Chevrier? He lit up the Q in his draft +1 year.” Not a bad choice, in my opinion. “Let’s roll with it. Chevrier can’t replace Tom, but he might be a good LW power forward in the distant future.” Chevrier ends up being a low elite potential player at 72 overall, so it’s a steal.

Free Agency

Max and Wade both hit free agency this year. I’ve been really disappointed with Max since he came here. He’s been a third line winger for us, but hasn’t hit over 40 points that often, if at all. We needed to afford players like Gauthier, so here we are. It’s going to be another year to rebuild on the fly. I’m looking for possible fits on defense, but with just under four million in cap space, it’s hard to work with. The phone rings. “Hey Matt, I’m the agent for a couple defensemen that you might be interested in. One of my clients is asking for 3.5 million for one season, and we thought you might be interested.” It’s intriguing, but I have to ask more questions. “Who is it?” I ask, unaware of any good player coming that cheap. “Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He’s 34, but could still contribute on the third pair if you give him a shot.” After some data churning and many a sleepless night, I decide to extend an offer. He accepts, and my defense is set for another year.

Max signed with Ottawa, joining Omar. He won’t be a huge help to them, but might be good for a 40 point season or so. It’s a two year deal, and we might see him hit free agency shortly after.

Wade signed with New Jersey, and I believe that Mike is on that team as well. He’ll still be a backup, but he’ll at least get a bigger shot.

2026-27 Season

This team actually has three scoring lines! Hawes grew two overall points to 85 overall, so he’ll be my second line RW this season. We’ll need him to produce a lot, especially with how weird this offense is. The defense looks roughly the same, so hopefully they won’t drag us down a lot.

I realize that I haven’t done Andrew Williams’ stats in a long time. I guess I just forgot, but it’s hard to keep up with 32 players. Here are his point totals by season: 31, 53, 49, 37, 39, 56, 54, 61. His career high in goals is 31, set last season. Sorry, Andrew. I’ll remember where your player is now.

Offense is still hard to come by for the Canes in the first month. In November, their first three wins were all because they scored five goals. It looks like they’re a bit streaky, so I’ll definitely consider adding at the deadline.

We’re looking for all types of forwards now that it’s the middle of January. The Canes are 24-14-5, and first in the division with 53 points. Seven points separate the Canes from missing the playoffs, so we’ll need to add if we want to contend.

I added a fourth line LW at the deadline for a third round pick. A little steep, but I have a lot of late round picks, actually. Hopefully he can contribute at least ten points between now and the end of the season.

Season Stats

I’m going to change this up a bit. Instead of telling you all your point totals, I’m just going to do highlights. If we have career highs, neat stats, or something weird, I’ll put it in the post. I’m testing the waters on this, so let me know if you like it or not. Be sure to reply to the CBTS twitter, because I refuse to check mine until Canes Twitter finds their happy place.

Meg had 44 wins and a .931 save percentage. It’s her lowest save percentage since the 2023-24 season, but still phenomenal.

Blake had 39 goals.

My player set a career high in goals and points. 31 goals, 60 points.

Neha had 89 points.

Nathaniel had 35 wins, a .937 save percentage, and a 1.91 GAA. Detroit might not suck anymore!

Ombudsman matched a career high in points with 27.

Ocarina of Tom set a career high in goals, assists, and points. 25g, 18a, 43p.

JT had 63 points.

Justin led his team with 57 points.

Wade had a .930 in his first season with New Jersey.

Omar set career highs in assists and points this season with 35 assists and 63 points.

Vince set a career high in points with 40.

Barron was a full-time NHLer this season, and had 17 points!

Christopher set a career high in points with 22.

Playoffs

The Canes were tested early on by the Sabres, but they won four straight games to take the series. It took six games, but Meg was great as usual.

This series has been fun. The Canes are facing the Islanders, and it’s been a back and forth series. Facing elimination in game six, the Canes are looking for a big game from their top line. They get it, and Samuel Fortin wins it in overtime. We’re heading to game seven! Oh yikes, that was bad. The Canes give up five unanswered goals, then score once in the third period to break the shutout. They lose 5-1 at home, and will be sent home in the second round of the playoffs.

Miscellaneous

Hockeyprof and the Islanders won the cup for the second year in a row, so congrats to them! I guess we should be glad that we lost to the champs.

The Flyers and the Rangers won the lottery, so this will be ugly. One of them will draft a franchise center.

Alex Ovechkin finished fifth all time in points, with 1834 points. He smashed Gretzky’s record of goals with 1024. Craziness. Crosby also retired, recording 1657 points and 1019 assists throughout his career. Both stayed with their teams for their whole careers.

Neha won the Art Ross and Richard trophies!

Meg won the Vezina, but Nathaniel made a strong case for it. Wins matter more, apparently.

Kristin was the best goalie in the AHL and had the lowest GAA.

Remember my first round pick, Sean Hawes? He had 47 points in his rookie season! He grew to an 86 over the course of the season, which is big. His biggest areas of improvement were shooting, skating, and physical. Those were his three best categories already, which is fine. His defense improved a bit, while his puck skills stayed relatively the same.

My second round pick this past year, Riley O’Byrne, led the Checkers with 59 points in 82 games. He improved to a 78 overall, and worked a little on his shooting.

Draft

“Alright folks, we need to assess our organization’s needs.” I say to the scouts, hoping for some insight. I know that scoring was an issue last season, so drafting a sniper might not be a bad idea. Defense has also been an issue, especially since I have a couple offensive defensemen on my roster. The scouts tell me about all of the players around pick 25, and I’m not too impressed with any of them. We make our pick, and it hurts. Once again, a first round pick of ours is a high 7th D potential player. We might as well have traded the pick. I’m furious with the pick, but we have a lot of picks in this draft. It’s going to be fine.

I keep hearing good things from scouts about Sergey Radulov. He’s a power forward LW with really good puck skills and skating. His physical game is a little unpolished, but he’ll have plenty of time to work on it in the KHL. He’s also 6’5 and 215 pounds, so he’s definitely got that going for him. “You sure this is our guy?” I say, and the scouts assure me that he could be something good. He ends up being bottom six potential, but 59 overall. One scout gets fired.

It’s been a crappy draft. We haven’t gotten any decent players with our first two picks, and there aren’t a whole lot of great players left. Who do we take? In the prospects game, I watched a kid score left and right that played a 200 foot game. He’s 5’9, so his stock was automatically lowered. Still, I can’t deny his talent. I take the risk, drafting Harvey Marchant. He’s 53 overall, so a little bit of a project. Still, medium top nine is the best we’ve drafted so far, so I can’t complain.

This was a draft to forget. I think I’ll be making some additions to the scouting department in the offseason to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. I can’t have my best players get drafted in the fifth or sixth round. That’s just unacceptable.

Free Agency

It’s going to be a rough offseason. I don’t have a whole lot of cap space, and I had to say goodbye to Noah Hanifin. He was good, but none of my defensemen were developing. It’ll hurt me in the short run, but I believe that I’ll be better off in the near future.

Justin, Ombudsman, and Kristin hit free agency this season. This could be Kristin’s chance to make a name for herself as an NHL goalie!

Justin, welcome to Carolina! He signs a three year, $9.5M contract with the Canes. He’s only half a million more expensive than Hanifin, and is three overall points better. That’s a steal, in my opinion. I know that I said my defensemen needed to develop, but Justin adds a perfect dynamic to this team. With Bean, he’ll be a 60-70 point player.

I’m taking a long look at my roster. I improved the team this off-season, even if it’s only a little. I’m proud, but I still see one problem. Greg Darby hasn’t been great in a backup role, and it’s meant that Meg has to carry the team. She’s done a great job, but I need a capable backup. I say goodbye to Greg Darby and a fourth round pick, sending them to Buffalo for their second round pick. I need picks to recover from the last draft I had.

We sent one offer to a goalie. Rejected. Their price went down a bit, so we made a second offer for a little more. Done deal! Kristin, welcome to the Hurricanes! She’s getting paid $3.2M for the next four years as a backup. It’s an ugly deal, but she has legitimate NHL potential.

Ombudsman joins Tom in Pittsburgh, where he might actually get good minutes. Pittsburgh sucks.

I’ll evaluate the roster in the next article! For now, I’ll let you all read this one and @ me with your complaints about why your player isn’t playing well in a simulated game.

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