Canes Twitter Franchise Mode: New Beginnings

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Canes Twitter Franchise mode is back in business now that I actually have NHL 20! If you aren’t aware of what this is, let me tell you! I take people from Canes twitter who request to be in the game, create a player with random positions and potential, and do a franchise sim and see how each player’s career plays out. Here are the rules and some other guidelines that I’ll follow in this series:

  1. I cannot trade created players unless the person requests to be traded.
  2. The franchise mode will be told from the point of view of me, the GM of the Carolina Hurricanes
  3. If a created player is a free agent at the start of the season, I have to sign that player and create a roster spot for said player.
  4. Every player starts at 81 overall and will begin their career playing in a Canadian junior league
  5. The goals slider will be turned up so that everyone can have a good career.
  6. Seattle will be a part of this sim right away, so there will be 32 teams in the league.
  7. Salary cap is turned off. This makes it easier for every player to earn a contract and also earn more money.

I’m sure that I’m forgetting something but we’ll figure it out along the way! First, there’s the expansion draft. As expected, the Seattle Kraken take James Reimer in the expansion draft, leaving the Hurricanes without a backup goalie for the following season. Since this is the beginning of the season and the rosters are technically set, I won’t make any changes other than signing a backup goalie and releasing Joel Edmundson, who did not want to re-sign with the Hurricanes. Malcolm Subban, welcome to the Hurricanes.

Big trade to announce! Boston has re-acquired Joe Thornton and a 2021 third round pick in exchange for a 2020 first round pick and a prospect. Another big trade involves Dallas acquiring Alex Edler, Jay Beagle, and a 2020 third round pick in exchange for a 2020 first round pick and a 2021 second round pick. Not a bad haul for Vancouver! I’ve received three offers for Jordan Staal thus far but I’m not really looking to move him. Sure, I’d love a 2020 first round pick, but trading Staal doesn’t make any sense right now.

San Jose must be tanking pretty hard, because they’ve just traded Vlasic and a 2021 fifth round pick to Winnipeg in exchange for Sami Niku and a 2020 first round pick. That’s a massive trade for San Jose, because they get an NHL-caliber defenseman and a first round pick. Vlasic is great, but Niku and that first round pick could be just as good. Winnipeg also made a big trade with Minnesota, trading a 2021 first round pick and a 2020 second round pick in exchange for Zach Parise, Brad Hunt, and a 2021 third round pick. In a minor deal with Detroit, the Jets trade Henri Nikkanen and a 2021 third round pick in exchange for Danny DeKeyser and a 2021 third round pick. The Jets are loading up!

Dallas makes their second trade of the off-season, trading Thomas Harley and a 2021 third round pick for Casey Cizikas, a 2021 third round pick, Johnny Boychuk, and a 2020 fourth round pick. Seems like a lot to give up for a fourth line center and a third pairing defenseman, but go off, Dallas. Minnesota trades Jared Spurgeon and a 2021 fourth round pick to Tampa in exchange for Boris Katchouk and a 2020 first round pick. At least no metro teams have gotten better…yet.

Calgary trades Backlund and a 2021 third round pick to Dallas in exchange for a 2021 first round pick, a prospect, and a 2021 sixth round pick. Chicago acquires Mats Zuccarello and a 2021 fifth round pick from Minnesota in exchange for a 2020 first round pick and a 2020 third round pick. No, this is not the trade deadline. I haven’t even gotten to the damn preseason yet.

2019-2020 Season

Pittsburgh acquires Nate Schmidt and Reilly Smith from Vegas in exchange for Pierre-Oliver Joseph and a 2020 first round pick right before the preseason starts. Vegas also moves Chris Tanev and Jan Rutta to Washington in exchange for Alexeyev, a 2020 third round pick, and a 2021 second round pick.

Wade Minter, Will Luper, Kieran Lang, Corey Sznajder, and Alexis Lafreniere round out the top five of NHL Central Scouting’s October rankings. Should be a fun draft to keep up with! Adam Henrique has been dealt to St. Louis along with two picks. Anaheim acquires first round picks in 2020 and 2021. Loooooots of first round picks getting dealt so far, most likely because the 2020 draft is very good.

The Canes are in very good position at the NHL trade deadline, and so it doesn’t make a ton of sense to make a trade for a player. They’re first in the division, scoring a ton of goals, and it seems as if the division isn’t getting a whole lot better at the deadline anyways. The Canes sit 38-20-5 at the deadline, good for a six point lead over the Capitals. Carolina’s surge (pun intended) is led by Andrei Svechnikov, who has 74 points in 63 games. Aho and Teravainen are also over a point per game, and Dominik Bokk, who I forgot was on the Canes in a roster edit I made, has 44 points. Here’s the annual “we like our group” speech, although I think Canes fans will be okay with it this time around! And just like that, the Canes fall to third in the division with a 46-19-7 record and will face Washington in the first round of the playoffs. That’s still a great matchup! Andrei Svechnikov had 91 points, Aho had 89 points, Teravainen had 80, and Bokk finished sixth in rookie scoring with 54 points. Jack Hughes had 63 points and will likely win the Calder.

The Hurricanes win game seven against the Capitals! Noted heel Warren Foegele scored a second period goal that would end up being the game winner in a 2-0 shutout win for the Hurricanes! We move on to face Pittsburgh, and the Canes win another game seven! Jordan Staal’s third period goal proves to win the game for the Hurricanes, who take the game and the series by a score of 4-3. The centers of the hockey universe collide in the Eastern Conference Final with Toronto taking on Carolina in a rematch of the 2002 conference final that some folks still haven’t learned how to let go. Unfortunately, Carolina’s luck runs out and the Canes fall in five games. So close yet again.

Awards and Draft

Anaheim moves up from 10th overall to get the first overall pick, the Islanders move from fifth to second, and Montreal moves from sixth to third. Ottawa gets the fifth overall pick from San Jose, and Tampa gets the eleventh overall pick from Vancouver. My scouts found one gem this year, and it’s Chris Miracle!

St Louis beat the Leafs to win the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row so congrats to them.

Now here’s the part you all care about, the draft!

With the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, Anaheim selects Kieran Lang!

2nd overall: Wade Minter to NYI

3rd: Will Luper to MTL

4th: Corey Sznajder to PHI

6th: Big Sam to DET

7th: NumberSportsFan to LA

8th: Mr. Workrate to NJD

9th: InternMatty to Calgary

10th: Wyrauch to Ottawa

11th: Itzme to TBL

12th: Andrew Williams to CBJ

13th: Sarai Dai to MIN

14th: Tommy Watson to NYR

19th: Jason Mariani to SJS

20th: Optimistic Caniac to MIN. Minnesota picks both Sarai and OOC!

21st: Jakob Narbei to Seattle

24th: Jonathan Wagner to MIN. Minnesota has had an excellent draft, imo, tbh

25th: Neha Korrapati to NJD, teammates with Mr. Workrate

26th: Canes and Cannons to VGK

31st: Kurt Cusac to CAR. Also took Foudy 30th overall!

37th: Canes Stats to NYI, teammates with Wade Minter

42nd: K2theArl to MIN. That’s four created players to Minnesota

43rd: Evan Stancil to VAN

44th: Josh Grantham to Ottawa

45th: Chris Miracle to ANA

46th: Matt Chatelain to CAR

47th: Ryan Allis to NASH

48th: Trey Cash to WASH

50th: Meg Palmer to FLA

51st: Finding Nino to MIN. Minnesota may have a cup winning team with all of this talent.

57th: Michael Goodreault to VAN

87th: Matthew Nidiffer to WASH

96th: McShoresy the Jerk to STL

And that’s all 33 people! We had two third round picks, ten second round picks, and 21 first round picks! Reminder: if you aren’t satisfied with your team, you may request a trade. I’ll do my best to trade for your player, and if you don’t have a spot on my lineup, I’ll do my best to move you to a team that has a spot for you. Please try to make trade requests quickly after the newest edition has been posted that way I can actually make your request happen.

Free Agency

Matt Chatelain and Kurt Cusac, welcome to the Hurricanes! Both players will have guaranteed NHL roles this season, but I can’t assure the same for anyone else in the franchise mode.

I usually sign prospects in free agency, but I don’t see any that I’m too thrilled about this year. Instead, I’ll just stick with some NHL pieces. I traded TVR to Anaheim in exchange for a second round pick and a sixth round pick. Joakim Nygard and Jaden Schwartz were my big free agent signings this year. I needed a second line LW as well as a fourth line LW, and these two fit that bill perfectly. The team gets better, although we did lose Dougie Hamilton to free agency. It did open up a spot for Chatelain and Jake Bean, so that’s good!

2020-2021 Season

Lines heading into the season:

Teravainen – Aho – Svechnikov

Schwartz – Necas – Niederreiter

Bokk – Staal – Gauthier

Nygard – Haula – Dzingel

Slavin – Gardiner

Fleury – Chatelain

Bean – Pesce

Cusac

Subban

Really great group so far. I’m liking the third line with Bokk and Gauthier, but I don’t love keeping Haula and Dzingel on the fourth line. I could trade Haula and put Wallmark in, but with how weak my defense is, I’d rather have a stronger forward group right now.

October 12, 2020 against Winnipeg marks the NHL debuts of two promising prospects: Kurt Cusac and Matt Chatelain. GM Matt Somma had this to say about these players: “We really liked what we saw in camp from these two players. Kurt and Matt showed an unprecedented level of NHL readiness and we felt that it would benefit both players to play in the NHL this season.” Let’s dive into the first game, shall we?

The Hurricanes took an early lead thanks to Joakim Nygard scoring from a relatively low danger area. Sebastian Aho added another goal to increase the lead to 2-0, but two Winnipeg goals in 50 seconds tied the game up. Tough period for Kurt, who let in two goals on ten shots. Carolina takes the lead back late in the second period thanks to a goal from Erik Haula, but the Canes give up four third period goals to lose the game 6-4. Ugly start to the season for a Carolina team that’s weak defensively. Matt Chatelain had 19:03 of ice time in his NHL debut and had two shots on goal. Teuvo Teravainen had three points in the loss, however.

Jakob Narbei has scored his first NHL goal(s) for Seattle with two goals against the Hurricanes in a 7-2 Hurricanes loss. If there were any good defensemen available, I’d definitely consider making a trade. Demers and Hjalmarsson are the only ones, and their contracts are too long for me to justify trading for them.

First NHL goal! Matt Chatelain scores his first NHL goal against Florida on a center ice shot that beats Sergei Bobrovsky (I wish I was kidding). Congrats to Matt! And Kurt Cusac gets his first NHL win with a shootout win against the Sharks!

The NHL trade deadline is approaching and the Canes are somehow in a playoff spot despite managing just four wins in their first ten games. I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to make a trade just yet, but if I did, it would be one for a defenseman. Paccioretty and Bonino are heading to the Penguins from Vegas in exchange for two big prospects, which is the first big trade of the year. Philadelphia acquires Ryan Suter and Victor Rask (lol) in exchange for a first round pick, a second round pick, and a pretty great prospect. Minnesota has been selling a lot lately, and with five created players picked in last year’s draft, I would have thought that they’d be better.

So, the season is over and the Hurricanes barely squeaked into a wild card spot with a record of 42-32-8. When I say barely, I mean barely. Make one of their OT wins a shootout win and all of a sudden you’re tied with Philly in ROW. The Canes were a +5 in goal differential while the Flyers were a -7, but it’s still close.

Rookie Stats

Kieran Lang – 13g, 11a, 24p

InternMatty: 36g, 21a, 57p

Matt Chatelain: 14g, 10a, 24p

Kurt Cusac: 24-18-4 record, .892 save percentage

Andrew Williams: 28g, 16a, 44p

Big Sam: 26g, 14a, 40p

Meg Palmer: 9g, 12a, 21p

NumberSportsFan: 21g, 21a, 42p

Jonathan Wagner: 34g, 40a, 74p

Sarai Dai: 21g, 28a, 49p

K2theArl: 19g, 19a, 38p

Optimistic Caniac: 17g, 19a, 36p

Finding Nino: 13g, 23a, 36p

Will Luper: 30g, 16a, 46p

Ryan Allis: 9-9-1 record, .906 save percentage

Tom Workrate: 15g, 15a, 30p

Wade Minter: 29g, 21a, 50p

Canes Stats: 10-6-2 record, .911 save percentage

Tommy Watson: 23g, 18a, 41p

Wyrauch: 15g, 9a, 24p

Corey Sznajder: 17g, 10a, 27p

Jason Mariani: 19g, 18a, 37p

Jakob Narbei: 20g, 21a, 41p

McShoresy the Jerk: 10-10-4 record, .880 save percentage

Itzme didn’t have any points but only appeared in two games so that’s okay.

Evan Stancil: 33g, 24a, 57p

Michael Goodreault: 11g, 21a, 32p

Canes and Cannons: 12-9-6 record, .898 save percentage

Trey Cash: 32g, 19a, 51p

Jonathan was first in rookie scoring throughout the NHL by twelve points, so it’s safe to say that he’ll win the Calder. Intern Matty and Evan Stancil tied for fourth in scoring for rookies. Four players have yet to make their NHL debuts, so we’ll be waiting for Neha, Josh, Matthew N., and Chris next season!

Playoffs

The Hurricanes are facing off against the Boston Bruins in the first round of the NHL playoffs. I was expecting a loss in the first round after the Canes dropped the first two games of the series, but the Hurricanes won the next four games and are off to the second round! Warren Foegele’s third period goal once again wins a playoff series for the Hurricanes. Getting Boston out of the way is huge!

Up next: the Florida Panthers! The Hurricanes are looking to knock Meg and the Panthers out of the playoffs, and they’re off to a great start with a 2-1 lead in the series. The next two games were split between the two teams, so we’re heading to game six. Dominik Bokk puts the Hurricanes ahead 1-0 in the first period, and that score holds throughout the second as well. Brock McGinn gets a revenge goal against his former team and we will head to OT. This game will decide the series if the Hurricanes win it and will force a game seven if Florida wins it. Kurt Cusac has been lights out for the Hurricanes thus far, stopping 25 of 26 shots on goal. Terrible offensive zone penalty from Slavin leads to a Florida power play early on in overtime, but the Hurricanes are able to kill it off with little difficulty. Kurt made a few key saves, but other than that it wasn’t too much of a hassle. Jake Gardiner! Canes twitter’s whipping boy wins the game in overtime for the Hurricanes and we’re back off to the ECF after a devastating loss last season.

Surprise, surprise. It’s the Maple Leafs again. This time, however, the Hurricanes have made it to game six and have a 3-2 lead over Toronto. Elimination game at home? That went well last time around, let’s do it again! Nylander and Dzingel trade goals in the first period, but the Canes pull ahead 3-2 thanks to Schwartz and Gauthier. Marner brings the Leafs within one at the end of the second period, so it’s still very much anyone’s game. Brassard ties the game up with 7:14 left, but a minute and six seconds later, Erik Haula scores the eventual game winner. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Carolina Hurricanes are off to the Stanley Cup Final!

It’s the Hurricanes vs. The Coyotes. The NHL’s ratings nightmare Cup Final. Let’s do it! This is an Arizona team that is missing Phil Kessel, one of the team’s best forwards. It’s a sim, so anything can happen, but I do like these odds.

Game one – Lawson Crouse and Matt Chatelain score for each team in the first period, so it’s 1-1 after the first period of play. There were no changes in score during the second period, but early in the third, Schwartz scores to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead! Hjalmarsson ties it up with three minutes left in the game, and it looks like we’re heading to ooooooooooooovertime. Svechnikov, who has been fairly quiet as of late, scores a goal in overtime to win game one for the Hurricanes!

Game two – Dvorak and Hall score for Arizona in the first period, but goals from Necas and Niederreiter ensure that the game is tied after 20 minutes of play. Arizona ends up scoring four unanswered goals in the second period before Dominik Bokk scores to give the Canes hope. 6-3 is your final score and the Canes and Coyotes are tied 1-1.

Game three – AWWWWWWWWWWWWW RALEIGH! DON’T YOU DARE BE SOUR! The Stanley Cup Final is back in Raleigh and folks, I’m excited. Svechnikov and Hall trade goals in the first period, and once again, these two teams are tied after 20 minutes. Necas and Svechnikov score to make it 3-1, and Clifford’s late goal isn’t enough to bring Arizona back. Canes win and take a 2-1 series lead!

Game four – I don’t want to talk about it. Arizona wins 7-3 in an embarrassing effort.

Game five – Gauthier’s goal cuts the lead in half, but Arizona still leads after the first period. Rough couple of games for the Hurricanes, who have given up four first period goals in two games. Niederreiter ties the game up in the second period, however, so it’s anyone’s game! Arizona wins. Lawson Crouse and Cody Eakin score third period goals, and Arizona is one win away from their first Stanley Cup. Game six – It’s do or die in Raleigh. Down 2-0 after the first period, the Canes have to get something going. Who will they rely upon to get their offense started? The answer, of course, is Julien Gauthier. He gets the scoring started for Carolina, and early in the third, Martin Necas ties the game up. All of a sudden, it’s a whole different ballgame (puck game?) in Raleigh. Overtime. This is what dreams are made of. Score, and you live to fight another day. Give up a goal, and some other team’s dreams come true and yours are crushed. Who will step up? Jake Gardiner came thiiiiiiis close to being the overtime hero once again. His shot hits Kuemper in the mask, then the shoulder, then the crossbar. Soooooooo close. BOOOOOOOOOOKK. Dominik Bokk bangs in the rebound from a Martin Necas shot and the Hurricanes have forced game seven in the Stanley Cup Final!

Game seven – Jake Gardiner, noted goal scorer, has scored for the Hurricanes in the first period. The canes out-shot the Coyotes 13-5 in the first period and shockingly came out of the period winning. That never happens in real life. Jaccob “the second c stands for clutch playoff goal” Slavin scores a second period goal to increase the Canes’ lead to 2-0, but I can’t say anything otherwise I’ll jinx it. Necas scores an empty net goal, and the Carolina Hurricanes are your Stanley Cup Champions! Cue the “rigged” comments. Winning the Conn Smythe: Martin Necas! His 25 points in 25 games led the team and he was a big factor in the game six comeback. He may not have won any awards for this game, but props to Kurt for this one. When the Canes needed a game seven win, he shuts the door and gets a SHUTOUT to win the Stanley Cup. You can’t get more clutch than that, so a massive shoutout to him. CLAP FOR YOUR WORLD FAMOUS STANLEY CUP CHAMPS AND FEEEEEEEEEL THE POWEEEEEEEER.

Awards and Draft

Seattle wins the draft lottery, moving from seventh to first. New Jersey and the Islanders are 2 and 3, respectively. Columbus traded for the 14th overall pick from Chicago, so they have that pick and the tenth overall pick as well.

Congratulations to Jonathan on winning the Calder for leading the league in rookie scoring. 74 points as a rookie is insane.

Heading into the 2021 draft, it’s clear to me that this team needs defense. Sure, we have a young core of defensemen, but it never hurts to add one more. The team could also use one or two wingers and another goalie. I’m not looking to trade up or down just yet, though.

My scouts are telling me to draft Dylan Guenther at 32nd overall. Central scouting ranks him a little lower, but my scouts have him ranked at 26th. He’s a LW with goal scoring potential and great skating, so that’s a bonus. The one concern is that he’s not very good at finding his teammates on the ice. This was a nice pick! Guenther is a medium top six potential forward that’s 67 overall at the time of the draft. He’ll likely rise into the mid-70’s in a few years, so that’s a very good pick. Next, we’re picking at 43rd overall. I know I said that I needed defensemen, but my scouts loved this Juha Makinen guy. He’s a medium top six center that’s 65 overall right now. He’s also a good bit younger than some of this draft class, which is nice. The fact that he’s a power forward with a heavy shot is also great news.

Hitting a home run in the second round is always nice. Hitting it at pick 64 feels great! Brandt Clarke, welcome to the Hurricanes. He’s a 55 overall two way defender with medium elite potential! His overall may be concerning a few scouts, but the fact that his potential is so high means that he’ll grow. This was a great pick, because the other player I was considering ended up being a bit of a bust. The rest of the draft was pretty uneventful, so that’s that!

Thank you all so much for reading the first edition of Canes Twitter Franchise Mode! We’ll kick off the next edition with the 2021 free agency period. Since the website was down for so long, I had time to almost finish the next season of the franchise mode. Expect the next two seasons out in an article in a couple of days!

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