Charlotte Checkers’ Unrestricted Free Agents

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Apr 21, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer (2) and Carolina Hurricanes center Nicolas Blanchard (72) flight for possession of the puck during the first period at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday we looked at the Charlotte Checkers’ restricted free agents. Today we’ll go over the unrestricted free agents. Again, they’ll be players that have an outside chance of making an impact in the NHL and could figure into the Carolina Hurricanes’ future plans.

Forwards

Nicolas Blanchard

The gritty forward played nine games with the Hurricanes during the 2012-13 season, and honestly didn’t do a bad job as an enforcer. I thought he would compete with Kevin Westgarth this season, but Blanchard didn’t get a chance with the Hurricanes this year. He had 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) with the Checkers in 68 games. Chances are Blanchard won’t make the NHL, but he’s still a good depth player in case of a number of injuries and still makes an impact with Charlotte. Re-signing him would not be bad at all.

Brett Sutter

Sutter played 15 games with the Hurricanes this season, but failed to stick on as a fourth-liner. But he had a strong AHL season with 44 points in 62 games. An NHL career has most likely passed him, but he’s still the captain of the Checkers and provides a good amount of offense. However, losing him may push Victor Rask to first-line center with the Checkers, which would be best.

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