When Tom Dundon took ownership of the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this year, he said he was going to make changes. Trading one of its top scorers in Jeff Skinner certainly qualifies, but the owner made it clear that it wasn’t even a hard decision to make, according to Chip Alexander and Luke DeCock of the News & Observer.
“It had to be done,” Dundon said Friday. “The consensus in the organization, and it has been for a while, was it was better for all parties. It’s good for him, too.”
The team didn’t get a top return for the 26-year-old who has scored 204 goals for Carolina over the course of eight seasons. He had a no-trade clause and could have chosen to play out his final season in Carolina and then walk away leaving the Hurricanes with nothing to show for him. Instead, Carolina walked away with prospect Cliff Pu and three draft picks, none of which are first-round picks. Buffalo has three of them in 2019.
“This was not money motivated,” Dundon said. “This was simply that we think the team has a better chance to perform at the level we think it can perform at right now.”
- New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider isn’t going to be rushed back after undergoing hip surgery this offseason, according to Corey Masisak of The Athletic (subscription required). The 32-year-old goaltender had another turbulent season in which he started the season strong, struggled and then fared well to end the season. He finished the season with a 2.93 GAA and a .907 save percentage in 40 games, his worst season statistically of his career. Masisak says the timetable for Schneider to return remains murky and general manager Ray Shero has commented on Pekka Rinne’s post-surgery success on multiple occasions, suggesting the team will almost certainly be starting the season with Keith Kinkaid as their starter.
- With four top defenders on their roster, the New Jersey Devils have to choose their new pairings between Sami Vatanen, Will Butcher, Andy Greene and Damon Severson. While the obvious choice might be that Vatanen and Greene should remain together as their shutdown line, Todd Cordell of HockeyBuzz writes that they should look at a different option which would be to match Severson with Greene instead, pointing out that Severson’s numbers alongside Greene have been as good, if not better, than Vatanen’s. That would leave Butcher with Vatanen, which could also provide a solid pairing.
- Bill Meltzer of NHL.com writes that the Philadelphia Flyers walked away with a good feeling about many of their prospects at the World Junior Summer Showcase today, especially with the success of their 2018 first-round pick Jay O’Brien. The 18-year-old has not had much of an opportunity to play against top competition against his own age, but thrived in the game against Canada where he was named Player of the Game for Team USA after potting two goals and showing a great defensive presence.