Canes Twitter Franchise Mode: Presidents’ Trophy Curse?

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Welcome back to Canes Twitter Franchise Mode! 33 created players from canes twitter have been drafted by NHL teams, and we’re following their journeys, as well as the Hurricanes’ decisions, throughout this series. I’m GM Matthew Somma, and welcome back!

I decided not to sign Nino Niederreiter and Joakim Nygard this offseason. Both players were getting fourth line ice time and it made no sense to keep them on the roster. There wasn’t a need to keep Malcolm Subban with Alex Nedeljkovic waiting in the wings, so he’s also gone. I also traded Erik Haula to Buffalo for a second and a fourth round pick. Warren Foegele was traded to Calgary for a fourth round pick and a seventh round pick in order to clear up space on the LW for Eetu Luostarinen. Luostarinen might be an overall worse than Foegele, but his potential is much higher. He’s more likely to get better as the season goes on, which is something that I’d love to happen. Also traded: Pesce to Dallas and Priskie to Detroit. I need to move defensemen because I don’t have a lot of room and because I also need a top defender to build my team around. My defense was one of the worst in the league last year, and so I need the boost.

My needs: Number one defenseman, Fourth line RW, AHL depth

My offers: Rasmus Ristolainen (88 overall), Jesse Puljujarvi (80 overall) offer sheet, two AHL depth pieces.

I also signed a new associate coach and three scouts. Still waiting on an AHL head coach, but they’re being stubborn.

One prospect accepted, and the other decided to sign with his original team. Tough luck, he would’ve been a top line forward in Charlotte. The big news, however, is that Jesse Puljujarvi accepted his offer sheet. We now have to wait for Edmonton to match, otherwise they receive our second round pick in 2022.

Bigger news! Rasmus Ristolainen has accepted a five year deal with the Hurricanes and will be their top defender next season. I know, he’s terrible in his own end in real life, but Ristolainen sims really well and is a great addition for your franchise mode. Remember, nothing about this is real and it can’t hurt you unless you let it. The Oilers matched my offer for Puljujarvi, so I decided to sign Matt Calvert. He’s the same overall, just a lot older. Puljujarvi would’ve grown in overall here, which is the only downside to the Calvert signing. Still, filling both of my needs was important, and I did just that!

Lines heading into the 2021-2022 season:

Teravainen – Aho – Svechnikov

Schwartz – Necas – Bokk

Dzingel – Staal – Gauthier

Luostarinen – Kuokkanen – Calvert

Slavin – Ristolainen

Gardiner – Chatelain

Bean – Fleury

Cusac

Nedeljkovic

It’s been a great season for the Canes so far, and we have some big news out of the Metro! The New York Rangers have fired their coach since they’re last in a tough Metro division. There wasn’t a need to do anything at the trade deadline once again this year, which is an amazing feeling. I had been hoping that this team was one piece away, and it looks like Ristolainen was that one piece. 42 wins at the deadline is absurd.

The Canes finished their season winning the Eastern Conference with a 56-18-8 record! Sebastian Aho led the team in scoring with 96 points! Necas and Svechnikov both finished with 84 points, Teravainen with 83, Bokk with 80, and Schwartz with 74. Newly acquired Rasmus Ristolainen led our defensemen in scoring with 48 points.

Player stats won’t be updated for every player unless they have a career year or reach over 50 points. It would make the franchise mode take a lot longer, and I’d rather put as many of these out as possible! If you want to know how your player did, feel free to mention me on twitter!

Matt Chatelain set career highs in assists and points with 18 and 31, respectively.

Kurt had a 41-14-8 record with four shutouts and a .905 save percentage.

Andrew Williams had 67 points!

Big Sam had a nice 69 points.

Number sports fan had 60 points.

K2theArl finished with 66 points, Jonathan Wagner finished with 65.

Will Luper had 48 goals and finished with 76 points. Not too shabby.

Ryan Allis has 22 wins on a struggling Nashville team.

Mr. Workrate had 46 points as a defenseman.

Jakob also had a nice 69 points.

Josh Grantham went 9-10 in his rookie season and finished with a .900 save percentage.

We’re still waiting on Neha and Matthew N. to make their NHL debuts!

Playoffs

The Hurricanes will be facing off against the Islanders in the first round of the playoffs, who proved to be the least threatening team the Canes had faced since they swept the Islanders in 2019. This was another sweep, and New York only managed to score seven goals in four games.

Next up, the Pittsburgh Penguins! The Canes lose both games at home to start the series, which puts them in a pretty tough spot heading into game three. The Canes and Penguins split both away games, so now it’s up to the Canes to win three straight games. If not, their season is over. Great start! Game five results in a 4-0 shutout win. Kurt made 22 saves and recorded yet another postseason shutout. The Canes force game seven but lose a heartbreaker in overtime to end the season. It was a big year and unfortunately, we fell just short of our goal.

Awards and Draft

Los Angeles moved up from fifth to first in the draft lottery, New Jersey Stayed at two, and Columbus moved up to third overall. Columbus also traded for the 11th overall pick. Montreal owns picks 14 and 15 in the draft after a trade with Washington.

Itzme won the Calder trophy this year, so congratulations to him!

Luke Henman was the AHL’s best rookie with 64 points in his rookie season.

St. Louis won the cup yet again, defeating the Penguins! St. Louis is doing the Lord’s work. This also means that McShoresy the Jerk is a Stanley Cup Champion! He was St. Louis’ backup goalie and appeared in two playoff games.

Heading into the draft, it’s clear that I need some forward help. I’m weak on both wings and have just a handful of centers in the system. Luckily for me, I have plenty of picks in this draft!

The Canes are picking 28th overall thanks to winning the Presidents’ Trophy this year. It was a waste of a first round pick. The fact that there are medium top nine potential players available in the first round is bad. My first good picks of the draft comes at picks 91 and 92. I take Rickard Pukka, a medium top six potential center that’s 53 overall. He’s an overage player, so 53 overall definitely sucks a bit, but that potential should be enough to turn him into a decent player by the time I have to sign him. Pick 92was spent on Miles Carcillo, a defensive defenseman with medium top four potential. He’s 50 overall, which makes him a project, but there’s a ton of value in this pick. I like it a lot. Three straight good picks! Pick 104 was used on Ryan Lambkin, a power forward center with low elite potential. I don’t have a ton of luck with low elite players, as they usually don’t grow past 82 overall or so. Still, that’s a great pick in the fourth round.

Overall, it was a decent draft. Nothing too crazy, although I did make a few other picks that were solid. Now we head to free agency, and I have no idea what I’m going to do in order to improve this team just yet.

Free Agency

It’s time to say goodbye to Jake Gardiner, Eetu Luostarinen, and Alex Nedeljkovic. All three players will be hitting free agency this year. Gardiner is 31, and after considering how good Honka can be, I’m okay with letting him go. Patrik Puistola is ready for an NHL role, and so I believe that he’ll take Luostarinen’s spot on the fourth line. The only trouble I’m having is with the backup goalie position. If only someone would request a trade…

Trade Alert! Matthew Nidiffer has been acquired from the Washington Capitals in exchange for two third round picks. The Capitals’ 2020 third round pick (87th overall) requested a trade after the Caps refused to move either Samsonov or Holtby. Nidiffer went 33-20-1 with a .910 save percentage with Brandon in the WHL and will compete with virtually nobody for the backup job this year. He’s an 81 overall, which is two points better than Nedeljkovic! Here’s a reminder for you all that you’re allowed to request a trade! I can’t guarantee that you’ll be on the Canes, but I’ll do my best to trade you to a better team if there isn’t a spot for you on the Canes!

My needs in free agency: A fourth line RW, third line C, and a top four defenseman.

Obviously, I went to sign a handful of AHL depth players, but I didn’t touch the AHL roster for the most part. They’re a good team with some solid depth players. Danton Heinen comes in to fill my 3C spot for the next couple of years. He’s shown that he can contribute anywhere from 40-50 points in a season during this franchise mode, and that’s more than enough from a 3C. I like this addition a lot because he’s younger than Staal and one overall point higher. Damon Severson is my top four defenseman addition. He’s one overall higher than Gardiner and four years younger. He may not have as much offensive upside, but the fact that he’s a little younger and a little better is encouraging. Lastly, I went out to sign Mikkel Boedker. Sure, he may not be as good of a player as he once was, but he sims well in a fourth line role. Why not take a shot?

Lines heading into next season:

Teravainen – Aho – Svechnikov

Schwartz – Necas – Bokk

Dzingel – Heinen – Gauthier

Henman – Rees – Puistola

Slavin – Ristolainen

Chatelain – Severson

Bean – Fleury

Kurt

Matthew N.

Next Season

My entire fourth line will be making their NHL debuts on the first night of the season! In order to make room for Rees, I had to trade a contract. Stelio Mattheos has been traded to the LA Kings in exchange for Nick Jensen, a third round pick, and a fourth round pick. Mattheos was one overall worse than Rees and had less potential. Taking on Jensen’s contract for two years isn’t ideal, but he does give me an extra depth option if I have an injury on the blue line. Luke Henman has his first NHL goal! Sure, it’s goal number four in an 8-0 shutout over Washington, but I’m sure Henman won’t mind. That game was also Matthew Nidiffer’s first NHL start, and I believe this makes him the first goalie in franchise history to earn a shutout in his NHL debut. It also came against the team who refused to play him, so that’s always great. Weird, the Canes are usually on the receiving end of these sorts of things.

Uh oh. Kurt is out for a month with a bruised hand, which is a big blow to my team. Matthew has been fine so far this season, but it’s always tough to replace an 85 overall starting goalie. My backup is now Eetu Makiniemi, who is a 71 overall goalie. Not good, folks. Makiniemi does pick up a win, stopping 23 of 24 shots against New Jersey. I guess goaltending isn’t an issue. What a concept! That bruised hand has turned into a broken hand and a two month absence this time. Yikes, Kurt. And as soon as he comes back, he gets hurt again. Looks like he’ll miss over half of the season. Luckily, this gives Matthew an opportunity!

Another year, another deadline where I don’t make any moves. I’m going to be honest here, I hate making moves at the deadline. It rarely improves my team, and I’m trying to build a dynasty and not mortgage the future. Besides, the team is 47-15-1 at the deadline. I don’t need to change that.

The Canes finished the season with a 61-17-4 record, leading the division. Aho led the team with 81 points, but what’s crazy is that the Hurricanes had zero point per game players. Newcomer Danton Heinen matched last season’s point totals of 47, which is all you can ask for in a free agent signing. Damon Severson had 32 points, almost tripling last season’s totals of 11. Granted, he only played in 27 games. Rees, Henman, and Puistola finished the season with 19, 16, and 13 points, respectively. This was a tough year for the fourth line, although I did see some growth in Rees and Puistola. Both players are up an overall point. Matthew had a 36-12-3 record and a .921 save percentage. He may not be worthy of the Vezina, but he has to be in the consideration for the Calder!

Kieran Lang had a nice 69 points. Intern Matty had a great season, with 45 goals and 72 points. Andrew Williams also had 72 points! Big Sam finished fourth on the Red Wings with 53 points. Number Sports Fan had 57 points this season and could have won the Norris if Doughty didn’t have 62 points. K2theArl had 85 points, Sarai had 78 points, Jonathan had 74, and Optimistic Caniac had 63, all with Minnesota. Finding Nino, if I were you, I’d request a trade.

Will Luper is our highest scorer yet with an 81 point season. Mr Workrate had 53 points as a defenseman, not too shabby. Neha also took over as New Jersey’s starter and had a .908 save percentage on a bad team. Wade had 66 points and finished fourth on the Islanders. Canes Stats had 40 wins for the Islanders, which is excellent. Jakob had 66 points for Seattle, who struggled to play defense this season despite having a handful of great performances. Itzme had 55 points for Tampa, Evan Stancil had 78 points in 80 games, Trey Cash had 61 points, and that’s it! Reminder, if you don’t see your player, just ask! I’ll let you know as soon as I can turn the PS4 on.

Playoffs

The Hurricanes and Islanders face off in the first round yet again, and this time, the Islanders are looking for revenge. This time, the Islanders fall in five games as opposed to getting swept, so that’s progress! The Canes move on with little difficulty and get Jake Bean back from injury before the start of the second round!

The Canes get swept by the Penguins in the second round. *insert comments about the game being rigged even though it wasn’t rigged when I won the cup*

Awards and Draft

Pittsburgh ended up winning the Stanley Cup over Nashville, which hurts. A lot.

Los Angeles wins the draft lottery yet again, and I believe that they’ll be picking up a franchise RW in this year’s draft. That’s huge for Number Sports Fan and the Kings! Chicago moves from seventh overall to the second slot, and the Rangers move from fifth to third.

Matthew Nidiffer won the Vezina in his rookie season but apparently that’s not good enough for the Calder? Either way, congrats to him. He also won the William M. Jennings for having the fewest goals allowed.

Now that the draft is here, I need to assess where the team is at. We’re clearly good enough to be President’s Trophy winners in back to back years, but we can’t get over the hump when it comes to the playoffs. I doubt that any player available at 28 will change that, but we’ll have to see. My scouts don’t love anyone available at 28, so we decide to go off the board. AJ Craig, ranked 39th by NHL Central Scouting, has been labeled as a gem by my scouts. He’s a two way LW that compares to Owen Nolan, which is always good. He’s not the most physical player and needs to improve in the offensive zone, but the talent is there. Let’s go for it! Turns out he’s a 72 overall medium top six potential winger. That’s a fantastic pick. Other than that, the draft wasn’t great. I drafted a handful of good players, including a medium elite potential goalie, but that’s about it.

That’s all for this one! We’ll kick off the next edition with NHL free agency and then two or more seasons of the Franchise Mode!

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