The Carolina Hurricanes did not make any huge additions to the offense through free agency, but they picked up two players that should compete for a job and perhaps lock a spot on the opening day roster.
Aaron Palushaj and Nathan Gerbe were signed on July 11 and 26, respectively. Palushaj comes from the Colorado Avalanche, who picked him up on waivers during the season. Gerbe was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres earlier this summer after having a couple disappointing seasons.
Both will have the chance to make the Canes’ roster and have an impact on the team, but which of the two signings will effect the team more in the 2013-14 season?
Gerbe will compete for a scoring role on the team, most likely the vacant wing spot on the Elias Lindholm-Jeff Skinnerline, while Palushaj is more of a defensive player and could possibly play with Jordan Staal.
Palushaj could also play on the fourth line, if he does not fill the spot on Staal’s line.
But Gerbe, who was put in a fourth line role at times with the Sabres, would not fit on the bottom line. He is simply too small to play against other team’s gritty lines and would become a non-factor.
If Gerbe can lock a spot on the third line, that will have a focus on scoring, he should have more of an impact on the Canes team than Palushaj.
But Palushaj also has a greater chance of making the team given his versatility.
In short, Gerbe has the chance to make a big impact on the Hurricanes, while Palushaj has a greater chance of having an effect on the team.