Another deadline has come and gone, and the fans are extremely disappointed in Ron Francis and the whole front office. In case you missed it, the Hurricanes did essentially nothing at the deadline this year. They sent Josh Jooris to Pittsburgh in exchange for Greg McKegg. This trade was announced after the 3:00 deadline on a day that was relatively boring up until the last half hour or so. This trade essentially gives the Canes a cheaper AHL center that’s on a two way deal. It gives the Checkers another option just in case another player gets called up to the Hurricanes. Seems a little pointless, but if there’s a call up later, it might not be disappointing.
Canes fans were extremely upset with how Ron Francis handled this deadline. While some people were rational and upset about having to wait longer for a trade, others were freaking out about complacency and some other narratives. I had to mute a couple accounts that I really like today, which is incredibly unfortunate. I get that people are tired of missing the playoffs, but that’s no excuse for being a shitty person.
All throughout this season and the past few seasons, we’ve heard the same line from Ron Francis. “We’re not going to mortgage the future for a rental.” If you haven’t heard it before, you must be new here. It’s a line that a lot of NHL GM’s use after the trade deadline, but Francis in particular. We’ve seen some big trades today, but no trades that would have made sense for us. Most, if not all, of the players that were moved today were rentals. A lot of first round picks and prospects were involved. So let’s talk about rentals.
The Canes aren’t good enough for rentals. They’re a bubble team that’s still trying to build a prospect pool and a culture of winning. If the team is not good enough to make a deep run, what’s the point of trading a bunch of picks or prospects for a player that might make a minimal impact on your team? There’s also the chance that that player won’t re-sign after the season is over. So what’s the point in giving away three picks for Tomas Tatar if he’s not going to sign? If he plays well, but the Canes miss the playoffs, then you wasted those picks. When you’re a good team, you can afford to do that. You can afford to give up future picks in order to win the cup now. But when your team isn’t good enough to win the Cup, you shouldn’t trade for rentals. Does that stop teams from doing it? Hell no. But Ron Francis is smart enough to know that trading high picks right now is not a good idea. “But why? You’re the reason why this team has no culture of winning! You’re a bad fan!” Outside of Necas and maybe Gauthier, we have no top six talent in the pipeline. Outside of Bean and maybe Luke Martin, we have no top four defensive talent in the pipeline. A lot of our prospects have third or fourth line upside at best. You can’t have a team filled with just those types of players, so maybe it’s best to draft some more top six/top four talent. There’s also the chance that we can trade picks at the draft when prices get a little more reasonable.
Another thing to think about is the prices of some players. Ryan Hartman, a player we were rumored to be in on, went for a first round pick, a pretty decent prospect, and a fourth round pick. Hartman is a fourth line guy, yet he still went for a crazy amount. Those picks will be late in each round, but that’s still a crazy price. Evander Kane, noted garbage human being, went for a prospect and two picks. It’s still a crazy amount to pay for a player that won’t sign again.
So to sum it up, it’s not bad that the Canes didn’t make a move today. I understand why you would be upset. I’m tired of missing the playoffs too. But I want this team to be good for a long while, and trading away good prospects or high picks for a rental player is not what this team needs right now. Over the summer, if a deal comes up that works for the team, then they’ll make the trade. But for now, it’s best to continue building the team so that we don’t have another playoff-less streak.