Mar 1, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros (41) shoots the puck against the New York Islanders during the 1st period at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Szagola-USA TODAY Sports

Should The Carolina Hurricanes Add Another Defenseman?

The Carolina Hurricanes signed Ron Hainsey on Thursday, helping to replace the injured Joni Pitkanen.

But the Canes were considering adding another defenseman when Pitkanen was included in the roster, so should the Hurricanes add another d-man to the blueline?

For one, GM Jim Rutherford plans on carrying a heavy d-corps throughout the season:

If the Canes added another defenseman, it would make Mike Komisarek the seventh defenseman, who would be a great experienced player that could fill in every now and then.

The added depth and skill would only be a good thing for the team, who is going into a tough Metropolitan Division with one of the weaker defenses.

Money would not be too big of an issue, the Hurricanes will have over $5 million in cap space once Pitkanen can go on LTIR at the start of the season. Radek Dvorak could be signed, but he won’t cost anything more than a million.

But there’s also the problem of acquiring another defenseman. Tom Gilbert and Carlo Colaiacovo are both free agents, but wouldn’t be a huge upgrade.

Cody Franson could be a trade target, but would cost an overpayment. He could be tendered an offersheet, but Rutherford would take the ire of fans and other teams if he does that.

Matt Niskanen scored 14 points in 40 games last season. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The best possible route is to trade for a defenseman from a team that needs cap space. Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen and Philadelphia’s Andrej Meszaros fit that bill. The Canes also have a trading history with both teams.

Niskanen has a low cap hit at $2.3 million and is underrated for everything he can do on the ice. The Penguins would be looking for a draft pick, most likely a second round pick.

Meszaros has a higher cap hit at $4 million, putting the Hurricanes right at the cap ceiling. He’s injury prone, but is not a bad defenseman when healthy. The Slovak plays a physical game and is good in his own end and at moving the puck.

The Flyers would also be looking for a draft pick, but a lower pick than the Pens, possibly a third or fouth-rounder.

Adding a defenseman is something the Canes should consider, but only if the price is right and if it will improve the team.

Should the Hurricanes add another defenseman?

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