Carolina Hurricanes Offseason Preview: Restricted Free Agents

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Jiri Tlusty

Jan 22, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jiri Tlusty (19) celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Hurricanes defeated the Flyers, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jiri Tlusty came into the 2013-2014 season coming off a ridiculous goal scoring campaign in the 2013 shortened season. His 23 goals and 38 points were both career highs.

I think his lofty expectations were unfair coming into this season. It was impossible for the Carolina Hurricanes first line of Tlusty, Eric Staal and Alexander Semin to reproduce the kind of offense they supplied last year, and the same goes for Jiri Tlusty’s 19.7% shooting percentage. There was no way he was going to score one goal on every five shots once again.

That being said, Jiri Tlusty got off to an abysmal start to the season. He had just 8 points and was a -8 in his first 35 games of the season, which, inevitably, led to many trade rumors. Kirk Muller even had to have a long talk with him about his current situation. He turned into a bottom line player, and he was playing well under ten minutes per game at one point of the season, but something started to click for the Czech forward in late December.

Since December 20, Jiri Tlusty has 10 goals and 8 assists (18 points) in 27 games. He is also a +9 in that time. He has turned into an offensive contributor once again for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Jiri Tlusty does not have to put up 40 goals in season to be useful for the Carolina Hurricanes, and he has proved that over the past few months. He is a good offensive player, and he is a great two-way forward that you can plug in almost any spot in the line up.

For those reasons, I think the Carolina Hurricanes should keep Jiri Tlusty on board going into next season.

Verdict: Re-Sign (2-3 years, $2 Million per season)