GM Jim Rutherford gave some insight on what he will do with his six unrestricted free agents this summer, according to a tweet by Chip Alexander:
The plan is to allow all of them to hit the market and then Rutherford could possibly attempt to sign one or two of them if he feels the deal is right.
The Canes’ free agents include:
- Dan Ellis, G, 32 years old, $650,000 made last season
- Bobby Sanguinetti, D, 25 years old, $700,000 made last season
- Marc-Andre Bergeron, D, 32 years old, $1 million made last season
- Joe Corvo, D, 35 years old, $2 million made last season
- Tim Brent, C, 29 years old, $750,000 made last season
- Chad LaRose, RW, 31 years old, $1.7 million made last season
I would guess that Bergeron, Corvo, Brent and LaRose are not on Rutherford’s list of players that he would like to re-sign. Bergeron and Corvo are aging offensive defensemen that are ready to be replaced by players already on the roster. Brent does not fit the mold of a fourth-line player and did not have a strong season.
It’s also likely that the Canes will add a couple of veteran defensemen in free agency.
LaRose has been a Hurricane for a number of years, but this past season may have been his worst in a Canes uniform. He skipped the end-of-year conference this season, which may spell doom for his future in North Carolina.
Rutherford will most likely attempt to replace him in free agency with another bottom-six grinder.
As for Ellis, it’s a little surprising that Rutherford will not sign him before free agency.
It seemed that the Hurricanes brass was impressed with Ellis’ play at the beginning of the year and wanted him as a backup again this year. It’s possible that Rutherford wants Ellis to see there is no market for him in free agency, so he can re-sign the former-Lightning goalie to a cheaper contract.
Sanguinetti probably has the best chance of being re-signed than any of the other defensemen, but still not that high of a chance. If Rutherford cannot bring in other defensemen, Sanguinetti would be a good option to bring back to the team.
Do not expect the Canes to re-sign any of their UFAs before July 5. From there, it looks like only a small number could be back in a Hurricanes’ uniform.