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Shane Willis reports from the end-of-season media availability for the Carolina Hurricanes

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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May 26, 2023 1:29 pm

Shane Willis reports from the end-of-season media availability for the Carolina Hurricanes

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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May 26, 2023 1:29 pm

Shane Willis of Bally Sports joins Adam from PNC Arena, where the Carolina Hurricanes are holding their exit interviews today. Captain Jordan Staal has already told the media that he has aspirations of finishing his career in Carolina. Shane also rates which players had the best season this past year.


Alright, to our our first friend who is paying us a visit today, Shane Willis, Bally Sports, former Carolina Hurricane star, 20 goal scorer.

I appreciate your time, sir. Jordan Stahl said today he wants to be a hurricane for life. He wants to finish his career here. Is anybody happier than Rod Brindamore?

Uh, no, I don't think so. I mean, and every fan that's here for for Jordan Stahl to say that. I think everyone in this organization respects everything he does on a daily basis, not only as a player, but as a person. I think that's the one thing Rod has talked about for years about the culture inside this locker room. And Jordan Stahl is such a big part of it.

He's the leader because that is the type of person that the head coach wants in his locker room to compete with each and every night. So to hear Jordan say that doesn't surprise me one because of how much he loves this area, this organization, this fan base. So exciting to hear those type of things when you have exit interviews, which is, you know, arguably the worst day for all the players because they're not talking about a Stanley Cup. They're talking about next year. But to hear Jordan Stahl say that is obviously exciting news for everybody.

But no, there's no question about that. You know, he had a very good year as well. I think maybe in the minds of fans and maybe even some of us in, you know, who follow the hurricanes like me, who cover the hurricanes extensively, who talk about it incessantly. Maybe we've sort of looked for a diminishing role, but their line, his line with Martinook and Fost all year long was so good. I mean, you can't have a diminishing role when they're playing that effectively. No, there's no question of how effective they were and how key they were to some of the victories for the Canes in the regular season. You look at what he did, 17 goals, 17 assists for 34 points. And that's that's what you want from Jordan Stahl on a nightly basis. Then you add in everything else he does, winning face-offs, dominating on a penalty kill that was best in the league throughout. You can't ever lose great players like that. You cannot lose leadership like that.

And even in Jordan Stahl's situation, everyone's going to go, oh, he's getting older. You have to look at those numbers that you just mentioned. Was it a diminishing role?

No, it definitely wasn't. No. I think the big question moving forward, obviously now for the organization is when you look at term because father time is always a factor. When does that happen to a player?

So that's what the organization will look at. But I think even Jordan Stahl, when, you know, it's never, if that's going to happen, it's when, and when that does, he's still such an effective player in the center ice position and affecting role in a pentacling role and then contributing with his size offensively. I think we're still a few ways, few years away from seeing that in Jordan Stahl.

Yeah. I mean, my guess is that Shane Willis is joining us. We're probably looking at a two-year contract. I mean, I'm not going to get into the money involved, but I don't think it's going to be a very long contract. And I wouldn't be surprised if at some point it simply becomes a year to year deal. You know, what didn't Jason Spezza basically do that in Toronto at the end of his career? Just we'll just, we'll just address it each year as we go along.

Yeah. I think there's a lot of guys around the league doing that right now. You look at a guy like Pat Maroon, you know, Joe Pavelski signed it for a one-year extension to continue to play and show how effective these guys are. And I think players get to a situation when they can do that is when they are in a place that they love like Jordan Stahl is. So that's always going to be the conversation and the questions moving forward and what works best, not only for Jordan Stahl as a person, his family, but for the organization as well.

Shane Willis is with us here on the Adam Gold show. I don't want to, I don't want to put you in a position of spending Tom Dundon's money here, but based on everything we saw during the season and everything we saw during the post-season, is Jesper Faust a must sign for you? Boy, that is, we were talking about that as soon as the game ended their night about what Jesper Faust did to this team in the playoffs, the huge goal he scored and the value he's had for this team. Now, where the situation comes in again, and the situation that agents and ownership will look at is the role that Jesper Faust fits into. So when you look at it and the line is on and the minutes he played, you have to find an equivalent value for Jesper Faust.

Now with what he did, the pushback is going to be the level of pay of what he wants. And obviously a player only gets to free agency. We talk about this all the time, and I never hold this against players because you don't get a shot at free agency very often. Jesper Faust is going to have that opportunity.

Again, he gets voted the favorite player inside of locker room and hard worker for a reason each and every year because he's a great person once again. But Jesper Faust has to look at the situation he's in with his family, what fits best and if he wants to test the market and see really what someone's going to do. Because if I put my player's hat back on, there's always going to be at least one team that accidentally throws a ton of money.

And everyone always gets mad and says, why would that guy do that? If someone's going to throw a lot of money at you, would you not take it? I would. I think when you look at the market, there's going to be at least one team, if not two or more, that saw what he did in the playoffs and say, we'll go way over what the market could be.

No, I agree, which is why I would take care of that right now. If I were Tom Dundon, on top of all the things that he does in terms of when you're playing with Martinook and you're playing with Stahl, I think Faust can be kind of plugged in in a lot of different roles. I know they use him on the power play, sort of because of injury and all that, but he has a value in a lot of different spots in the lineup. If I had to ask you, based on expectations relative to who they were as players, how many players do you think had A seasons for Carolina? Rather than put you on the spot and have you come up with them, if I said, did Jalen Chatfield have an A season? Would you say yes? Yes, I will say yes. Again, not only the way he played late in the year and finished here, but just to watch how far he grew as a player and an NHL player on an everyday basis, definitely A for Jalen Chatfield.

I don't think there's any question about that. Brent Burns, was it an A season for Brent Burns? I think it was an A, but I think with a guy like Brent Burns, I think he's probably going to be harder on himself and say it wasn't. But I do feel that he got into the system quickly and played alongside Jacob Slavin in a huge minute and scored those big type of goals that this organization needed him to score. So I'm going to give him an A.

Yes, I agree. I think it's an A. Now here's the difficult one, because for four months or five months, it was an A plus.

And then I don't even know what kind of grade you'd give it the rest of the way. Marty Neches had an incredible first three quarters of the season. And then his game fell off and it really didn't come back in the playoffs. If you were talking to Neches, what would be the area that he must improve on in this offseason? Well, the only area that comes to mind for me and when I think about why it's so difficult and what's the most difficult thing to do in the National Hockey League is consistency. You mentioned Marty, regular season that I mean was on fire, 28 goals, 43 assists, you know, very close to a point a game guy, which his team is going to want and need him to be. I think he's no question can be that 30 goal score this organization wants.

But to get to those type of numbers and things, you look at consistency, and then you mentioned the playoffs, it has to continue into that area. So do I think it's an A minus? Is it a strong B plus?

I think it's in that area. I don't think he's very far away from an A, if you're going to give him an A. Because he's so young, because of those little kind of blips in the radar, if you will, that is just the one area and he had it for a long time. No question in the regular season, he was rolling.

But how do you eliminate those gaps? And how do you do it in the playoffs? That's what makes all stars. And I think Marty Mates is after this year is trending towards the right direction because we go back to the conversation last year at this exact same time, we weren't talking about an A.

No. So from on a positive side point, he made huge strides. He did everything he needed to do in the offseason to become that type of player. But he did everything to become that type of player.

But what Marty Mates just knows and the message is going to go to him, we're not done yet. You're not done growing yet. At 24 years old, there's so much more for this guy to grow and get into. And I think he's now the biggest positive mixture to that level to realize that and will go and work just as hard and harder this summer to elevate even to another level.

Yeah, I could argue that this offseason is the most important in his entire career. Because I think what he really needs is just added strength. Because, I mean, for lack of a better term, I don't know that he didn't just wear down in the last 21 games of the regular season and in the playoffs. He just wasn't the same. He still had the skating, but the other things kind of evaporated. He just didn't have the strength, I think, to finish it off.

So maybe that's a summer of weights and other things just to continue to get stronger. Because he's got the size and skill to be a beast. I've said this, if he played like Seth Jarvis, right, the way Jarvis is fearless in the way he plays, he'd be an all-star if he could play like that over the course of an 82-game season. Yeah, the other part I look at, and the Hurricanes won two rounds in the playoffs and scored a ton of goals and produced offense without maturity and special thoughts. But when you look back at how this team was built coming into the season and what they wanted to do, that allows Marty and Aches a little more freedom because teams can't just focus in on them. I think the teams in the playoffs were continually trying to get to him and pound on him because there's not that many weapons around you. And we talk about building a complete team, and the Hurricanes had this to start the season. And we're very close to getting there once again to that ultimate goal, and I think that's what you need.

When a young player like that, when it's easy for a team to dial in on them, it makes it very hard for the young guy to kind of break out and have that kind of level. Shane Willis, Bally Sports. I appreciate your time, my friend. I'll probably see you before August. Well, I hope so.

I'll be around to see me show at any time we get. I mean, the draft will be exciting. That's right. Exciting parts of the season going to be coming up. Three agency, all those things. So I'm looking forward to an exciting off season. I know there's a lot of hard work ahead for Rod Renoir, Don Waddell and Tom Dundon and the rest of their staff.

But when you look at the positive nature of what this team did this season and where they're going, I expect this summer to be just as exciting as last summer. No question about it. All right, Shane, I'll talk to you soon. I appreciate your time. Thanks, buddy.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-26 14:14:02 / 2023-05-26 14:19:19 / 5

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