Thursday, June 22, 2006

The future...

Just finished watching the US-Ghana World Cup match. The US lost 2-1, and they don't advance. Really, watching the US in all of their games, they didn't deserve to advance. But so much was made of the Italy-Czech Repuplic game - that Italy had to win for the US to advance, blah blah blah, and then the US didn't even win their own game.
Oh well. This is why I follow hockey - at least the US has a better chance of advancing in international play.

Ow. I'm just reading this article on the News & Observer's website about all the Canes injuries. Let's see here, there's Kevyn Adams with a broken arm, Bret Hedican tore the labrum in his hip in Game 1 of the finals, Justin Williams tore a ligament in his wrist in the second game of the playoffs, and tore an oblique muscle, Doug Weight separated his shoulder. Just reading about some of those injuries makes me hurt.

Well, the deadline for free agency is July 1st, a whoppin 9 days away. The Canes have 10 players under contract for next season. (I'm using yesterday's print copy of the N&O sports section for this information. For some stupid reason, N& won't let me view their stupid sports site - it wants me to sign up for their website. WELL I'M NOT GOING TO SIGN UP! So, I'm using the print edition.) These players would be: Kevyn Adams, Anton Babchuk, Rod Brind'Amour (if they pick up the option on his contract), Andrew Ladd, Cory Stillman, Oleg Tverdovsky, Josef Vasicek, Cam Ward, and Ray Whitney.

My prediction is that Tverdovsky and Vasicek go the trade route. Tverdovsky underperformed for a 2.5 mil contract, and I just plain don't like Vasicek. Sure, he's coming back from a knee injury, but did he do anything before the knee injury? No.

Restricted free agents: Erik Cole, Mike Commodore, Chad Larose, Eric Staal, and Justin Williams.

Predictions: Canes wrap up Cole, Staal, and Williams real quick. I don't think either Commodore or Larose will leave the team. (Canes BETTER keep Cole - I will be very angry.)

Unrestricted free agents: Craig Adams, Matt Cullen, Martin Gerber, Andrew Hutchinson, Frantisek Kaberle, Mark Recchi, Niclas Wallin, Aaron Ward, Doug Weight, and Glen Wesley.

Predictions: Recchi goes back to Pittsburgh. Weight goes to either St. Louis, or stays with Carolina - whoever is the highest bidder. Wesley will go out a winner and retire. I think Carolina will try extremely hard to keep Cullen. Hutchinson, I think, stays, as does Craig Adams (I would hate to see the Adams/Adams tandem be broken up). Gerber, Kaberle, and Wallin? Hard to tell.

Laviolette needs to be the top priority - he is such a good coach, and he needs to stay with this team. I would hate to see him behind someone else's bench.

Of course, my playoff predictions went so well, I wouldn't plan on any of this being right.

If the Canes manage to keep the majority of their team - the team next year will definitely be good.

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