Carolina is scheduled to have the 14th overall pick in the upcoming 2008 NHL Entry Draft this weekend in Ottawa. This is a pretty deep draft class, and there are quite a few names being bandied about in mock drafts as the 14th pick. One of those players, Colten Teubert, is featured today on NHL.com.
Teubert, a defenseman whom many are calling "mini-Pronger" is 6'4" and 185 pounds. The weight is obviously an issue, but a couple more years in junior hockey and another in the AHL should help him grow into his big frame. Although he doesn't quite possess the offensive acumen that Pronger does, he's got the hard-hitting, shut-down defensive style going.
It's extremely unlikely that Teubert would be NHL-ready, even to a team as desperate for blueliners as Carolina. That said, Carolina has no shortage of forwards in the system, so a defenseman will probably be the way to go.
When Carolina's two Mesozoic Era defensemen retired this month, it left a gaping hole in the blue line. Negotiations with Tim Gleason have come to a screeching halt, and I haven't heard a word about Dennis Seidenberg. Bret Hedican can be replaced with a traffic cone, but Glen Wesley will be impossible to replace. The Hurricanes have four defensemen signed for next season, but one of them is David "Snuggles" Tanabe, who suffered a mystery concussion back in December and has essentially vanished from the face of the earth. Injured players cannot be bought out, but Carolina can put him on the long-term injured reserve list, which would exempt his salary from counting towards the cap.
I've probably said this 999 times already this summer, but it is absolutely imperative that the Canes get some new blood on the blue line. I've started to hatch an armchair GM plan for the Canes to trade down in the draft for a young NHL-defenseman under contract. I've got a pretty short list of desired players and a couple of different scenarios. The more I think about this kind of thing, the more I think that it might be Carolina's best bet for shoring up the blue line. The Hurricanes have been clever, but never aggressive in the free agent market. There's only so many J-M Liles in the world and there's going to be a lot of teams showing up on his front stoop with flowers and candy. Jim Rutherford has never been the flowers and candy type of GM.
I'm REALLY bored, and the draft is four days away.
3 years ago