Your daily links and banter for July 15th, 2019
Good morning, it’s officially the dead period of the sports calendar in North Carolina. Other than minor league baseball, we haven’t got much going on as training camps for the Panthers and college teams haven’t yet started.
Free agency for the Hornets and Hurricanes is winding down but we did have the news of the Hurricanes’ signing of Ryan Dzingel. We looked at Dzingel as a possible option for the Hurricanes when free agency started and it’s another low key but savvy move by the Hurricanes front office this offseason.
Dzingel had 26 goals for Ottawa and Columbus last season, marking his third straight year where he posted 20+ goals. He’s a perfect fit for coach Rod Brind’Amour’s up-tempo system. He’s an upgrade on Michael Ferland, who left Carolina to sign with Vancouver.
The signing continues an excellent offseason for Carolina. In addition to Dzingel, the Hurricanes acquired center Erik Haula, bought a first round pick from the Maple Leafs, re-signed goaltender Petr Mrazek and Sebastian Aho and brought in 12 draft picks. The team should be celebrated for making smart moves aimed at ensuring a strong team for years to come.
Dzingel could score 30 goals this season. If healthy, Haula could push for 25-30 goals as well. That’s a ton of added firepower for a team that finished 16th in goals per game last season. It bodes well for Carolina in 2019-20 as the offense should be much improved.
The only question mark now becomes whether Justin Williams returns to the team and it would be a massive late offseason addition for Carolina. Signing Dzingel definitely doesn’t affect that situation, so we’ll have to wait and see what the captain does.
The main question of the Panthers offseason will be Cam Newton‘s health. Having a healthy Cam could the difference in a tight NFC South race. However, with Newton’s uncertain future, it makes the battle between Will Grier, Taylor Heinicke, and Kyle Allen so important as training camp and preseason start.
A great breakdown of several of the early season tournaments. Among the teams from North Carolina competing are Duke, North Carolina, Davidson, and Wake Forest.
North Carolina has the toughest road to a tournament victory, drawing Michigan, Gonzaga, Oregon and Iowa State in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Absent from this preview is N.C. State, who will play Memphis *gulp* in the Barclays Center Classic. That has the potential to go very bad, very fast.
Early season basketball tournaments are a staple of the Thanksgiving weekend and there should be some really interesting match-ups for local teams.
UNC football’s secondary is paper thin and losing Bryson Richardson to a season-ending Achilles injury exacerbates that issue. It’s a sickening sight for UNC fans as the team was plagued by injuries last season.