Each member of the Carolina Hurricanes 2019 Eastern Conference runner up team wants to control their decision on their playing future next year. But as we all know, that just isn’t the case in pro sports for all players.
When you combine free agency, trades, retirements, contracts not renewed, buyouts, the draft and guys from the Calder Cup Champion Charlotte Checkers, the formula for who is a Hurricane on opening night in October gets a little tricky.
Let’s analyze each player that skated two or more playoff games this post season and make some odds of if they are on the opening night roster. It’s important to understand this includes the 20 guys that will dress, healthy scratches and members of the injured reserve.
99 Percent Chance
While the players on this list are almost locks to be a Hurricane next season, no one should ever believe “untouchable” type comments about players. If Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can be traded or not re-signed. And there isn’t a player on the roster the Hurricanes would not be willing to move if someone like Connor McDavid became available.
Saying that, there are three Restricted Free Agents that are almost a lock to get a new contract with the Hurricanes. NHL rules are set in place to protect a team’s draft pick. If a Restricted Free Agent is given an offer from another NHL team, the team they played for previously has the right to match that contract. If they do, the player must sign with their current team or not play in the NHL.
This is fantastic news for Carolina when it comes to Sebastian Aho. Coming off a career year that included leading the team in points in both the regular season and playoffs, Aho is set to become a very rich man. Expect General Manager Don Waddell to ensure that Aho is a Hurricane for the foreseeable future any day now.
Other Restricted Free Agents that should return to Carolina include Saku Maenalanen and Brock McGinn. Maenalanen was a pleasant surprise this season playing in 34 games and amassing 8 points along the way. McGinn continues to be a important piece on the third line, penalty killing and providing energy. Adding a game 7 overtime winner to his resume doesn’t hurt either.
While Warren Feogle and Andrei Svechnikov are not pending free agents, they are still on entry level contracts, which makes them Restricted Free Agents when their contracts end. There is almost no chance – unless it was a true blockbuster trade – that either of these guys are moved. Carolina simply does not want to forfeit their future Restricted Free Agent rights with them.
Also unlikely to be moved is fan favorite, team favorite and true grit guy Jordan Martinook. While he did have off-season surgery, he is expected to be fully recovered by training camp. Combine this with a fresh new contract prior to hitting free agency in July, and Martinook will be a Hurricane next season.
The rest of the 99 percent crew include Teuvo Teravainen, who is signed through 2025, Jordan Staal, signed through 2024 and Nino Niederreiter, signed through 2022. Each of three players are a core part of this team aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.