Jakub Nakladal

AP

Welcome Ryan Murphy to the trade rumor mill

We’ve written quite a bit about Carolina’s blueline this season — first, the high expectations for what looked like a promising young group, then, how badly things went through the opening month.

Now, another angle to cover: Trade talk!

From TSN’s Darren Dreger:

[Ryan Murphy] doesn’t seem to be a fit for Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters. Murphy’s name has been used as trade bait for months, but now the Canes are actively shopping him. With a salary of $750,000 this year and $825,000 next season, the 23-year-old, right-shot defenceman will likely be on the move.

The Hurricanes were among the clubs most interested in Anaheim’s Cam Fowler before Hampus Lindholm signed his extension, so clearly Carolina is hoping to upgrade its blueline and would include Murphy as part of a deal.

Murphy, a former first-round pick, only recently returned to the ‘Canes lineup after missing time with a lower-body injury.  The return was supposed to be a boon for sophomore Noah Hanifin, who’s struggled to find a consistent d-man partner this year after playing extended lengths of time with Murphy last season.

What’s more, Peters said Murphy’s presence in the lineup would make an impact.

“He’s a valuable guy,” Peters said, per the ‘Canes website. “He’s a puck-mover, and we’ve had a hard time moving the puck out of our zone in transition.”

Things haven’t exactly panned out for either party thus far. In just four games played, Murphy’s averaging a meager 13 minutes per night, and has just one point.

That said, Murphy could have some value across the league. He’s a right-handed shot, which is vital, and a good skater with nice passing vision. Injuries have been a problem throughout his four-year career, though, and he’s never played more than 48 games in a single season.

In the big picture, it looks like Carolina GM Ron Francis wants a mulligan on his plan for the defense. He’s already cut ties with stopgap signing Jakub Nakladal, and waiver wire pickup Klas Dahlbeck has been in and out of the lineup.

Those two were chosen in favor of young prospects Roland McKeown and Haydn Fleury, both of whom are currently with AHL Charlotte.

After just three games, Nakladal cut loose by ‘Canes

4 Comments

Carolina GM Ron Francis took a flier on Jakub Nakladal in early October, hoping that Nakladal’s efforts with the Czechs at the World Cup would translate into the regular season.

They didn’t.

On Monday, the ‘Canes announced they’ve terminated Nakladal’s contract, after he went scoreless in just three appearances for the club — the last one a shootout loss to New Jersey on Nov. 8.

The 28-year-old spent last season in Calgary — his first NHL campaign after years in the Czech League and KHL — but wasn’t resigned by the Flames, making him an unrestricted free agent. A contract failed to materialize during the summer, but interest rose after Nakladal appeared in all three games at the World Cup, acquitting himself reasonably well.

(His best game came in the Czech Republic’s group finale against the U.S., when he went plus-2 with over 20 minutes of ice time and three shots on goal.)

Nakladal was part of a Carolina defense that’s come under fire this season. He, along with waiver claim Klas Dahlbeck, were supposed to round out the bottom pairing and provide some depth, but that plan never came to fruition.

 

Already struggling on defense, ‘Canes now without Faulk (upper body)

AP

Coming into the year, optimism was high for a young Hurricanes defense that played well last year and looked to have a bright future.

But now, 11 games in, things are less rosy.

On Tuesday, Carolina announced that minutes leader and alternate captain Justin Faulk is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered on Sunday against New Jersey.

News of the injury comes with the ‘Canes sitting at 3-5-3, dead last in the Metropolitan Division and 27th in the NHL in goals against (3.5 per game).

To hear Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer explain it, a big reason for that bloated GAA is the trouble Carolina’s had on defense.

More:

Jaccob Slavin has been good, defensive partner Brett Pesce hasn’t been far behind and the rest of the blue line has been questionable. Faulk and [Ron] Hainsey have been surprisingly erratic in their own zone, and the pairing of [Noah] Hanifin and your-name-here has been a mess.

The Hurricanes auditioned prospect Roland McKeown for that spot but decided he was better served playing a full season in the AHL, which left them with late-signing Jakub Nakladal, waiver claim Klas Dahlbeck and [Ryan] Murphy, none of whom have been up to the task.

DeCock goes on to say GM Ron Francis “gambled that the group that finished the season would be able to pick up where it left off,” and that, so far, that gamble has failed.

All this falls in the lap of head coach Bill Peters, who’s spent considerable time piecing together his blueline. Dahlbeck’s appeared in six games, Murphy three and Nakladal two, and there’s a decent chance another d-man could soon be in the mix to fill Faulk’s spot on the roster.

But replacing Faulk will be no easy task.

One of the league’s premier power play quarterbacks — he finished second among NHL d-men in PPG last year, with 12 — Faulk plays over 24 minutes a night, and in all situations.

Hemsky, Faksa and the Michalek brothers added to Czech Republic’s World Cup roster

Getty Images
1 Comment

Team Czech Republic announced their full 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

Like every other team, the Czechs named 16 players to their roster back in March. Joining the likes of Jakub Voracek, Tomas Plekanec, Ondrej Palat and David Krejci are Milan Michalek (Toronto), Dmitrij Jaskin (St. Louis), Ales Hemsky (Dallas), Radek Faksa (Dallas), Jakub Nakladal (Calgary), Zbynek Michalek (Arizona) and Michal Jordan (Carolina).

Hemsky posted 13 goals and 39 points in 2015-16 and added a goal and four points during the Stars’ postseason run.

Milan Michalek has represented his country a number of times, including in the last Olympics where he had no points in five contests. The 31-year-old was traded from Ottawa to Toronto as part of the Dion Phaneuf trade, but he didn’t have a good season, as a finger injury derailed his year. He finished the season with seven goals and 16 points in 45 games.

Milan’s older brother, Zbynek, has also represented his nation a number of times at the international level. He took part in each of the last two Olympics.

Nakladal completed his first season in the NHL in 2015-16. The 28-year-old had two goals and five points in 27 contests with the Flames.

Former St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka, who was named to the team back on Mar. 2, is the only player on the roster who isn’t currently in the NHL.

Here’s the full roster:

G Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings
G Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers
G Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets

D Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers
D Michal Jordan, Carolina Hurricanes *
D Michal Kempny, Chicago Blackhawks
D Zbynek Michalek, Arizona Coyotes *
D Jakub Nakladal, Calgary Flames *
D Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks
D Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning

F Radek Faksa, Dallas Stars *
F Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames
F Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes
F Ales Hemsky, Dallas Stars *
F Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks
F Dmitrij Jaskin, St. Louis Blues *
F David Krejci, Boston Bruins
F Milan Michalek, Toronto Maple Leafs *
F Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning
F David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
F Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens
F Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL)
F Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers

Earlier this week, Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr announced that he wouldn’t be taking part in the World Cup event.

In a surprising move, Jagr’s teammate in Florida, Jiri Hudler, was left off the roster. The 32-year-old had 16 goals and 46 points in 72 games with the Flames and Panthers in 2015-16. Radim Vrbata (Canucks), Tomas Fleischmann and Andrej Nestrasil (Carolina) also didn’t make the cut.

Video: Flames’ Nakladal takes a stick to the eye, but ‘no serious damage’

There was a scary incident during Saturday’s game between the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Flames defenseman Jakub Nakladal took a stick to the eye during the second period and had to leave the game. He did not return. Calgary snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Penguins.

Flames coach Bob Hartley provided an update on Nakladal following the victory:

In 12 games with the Flames this season, the 28-year-old Nakladal has one goal and two points.