TTG Thoughts on Hurricanes, Balcers Signing, and The Future
This is a column that features random thoughts on the San Jose Sharks, the Sharks organization and hockey as a whole. The column does not have a regular schedule so keep your eyes here for future installments.
The Carolina Hurricanes have a new buyer that will keep the team in Raleigh for the foreseeable future. This is a big win for Gary Bettman and the NHL. It always fascinates me when fans constantly bring up relocation as a show topic. Through the years Bettman and the NHL have gone to great lengths to not move teams. The Thrashers couldn’t be saved nor could the Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers or the original Winnipeg Jets. For all the slings and arrows that Bettman takes (many deserved) among the many things he has done well is find owners to rescue franchises on the brink of relocation.
There are some things that do seem a little convenient here though. The timing of the deal granted Raleigh isn’t a hockey first town but the out of nowhere reporting of the purchase seems odd. Second is the price, the Hurricanes are reportedly being sold for $500 million. It is no coincidence that this is the same price that the Vegas Golden Knights paid to enter the league. The deal seems very manufactured like it is a ploy by the NHL to artificially increase franchise values. That being said, I’m happy for the Caniacs in Raleigh who will continue to have a team to cheer for that should very much be on the upswing.
Slavin Deal A Homerun
The Hurricanes were also in the news yesterday with the signing of Jaccob Slavin. Slavin, 23, will earn $5.3 million starting in the 2018-19 season until the 2024-2025 season. This is an excellent deal for the Hurricanes in both term, cost, and quality of player. Have not heard of Jaccob Slavin until yesterday? I’m sure for many you are not alone, it’s difficult to earn the spotlight from a player like Noah Hanifin. Slavin will draw many comparisons to a young Marc-Edouard Vlasic who was completely underrated and even under the radar of fans outside of the market he plays in. I think over time though Slavin should become a household name and a mainstay for USA Hockey in future international tournaments that NHLers are allowed to attend.
Balcers Signed to ELC
One of the more low-key intriguing parts of the Sharks offseason was the future of Rudolfs Balcers. Eligible to not only play for the San Jose Barracuda he could have returned to the Kamloops Blazers as an overage and import player as well as returning to Europe. Balcers 20, was drafted out of Europe meaning the Sharks had a longer timeline to get him under contract. With the extended window to get Balcers under contract in mind, it still seemed odd that the Sharks had yet to put pen to paper with him. In his rookie season with the Blazers Balcers scored 40 goals and 33 assists. As discussed by Zakk Devine on a recent podcast he had also moved away from the early peripheral play he was known for.
With his entry-level contract in hand, he will likely be suiting up for the San Jose Barracuda this season. The Barracuda should once again be a fun team to watch. Yes, they will lose players who graduate to the Sharks this year but with players like Balcers being added to the mix and a solid defensive core and goaltending this is a team with few weaknesses.
On a personal note, I’ll be taking a week off from all blogging and podcasting activities starting tomorrow. I’ll be leaving town and after a significant surgery I need a little time to recover, I feel like really making sure I enjoy my vacation should help the healing process which has been slow. I appreciate all the well wishes and inquiries/concern about my health it has been very touching.
The possibilities for the future of this podcast and site are endless but I should have a far more clear idea of what that future may be when I return. Just because I am gone the coverage does not stop be sure to follow Hockey Jerk, Kevin and friend of the blog Zakk Devine where any combination of these fine gentleman could assemble at any minute to talk Sharks news. We appreciate all your support thus far and your continued support for what may come next. Without you, there is no Teal Tinted Glasses blog, podcast or website and that is something we will never lose sight of.