The Carolina Hurricanes pick up yet another Finnish forward. This time it is Center Erik Haula who joins the team via Trade from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Don Waddell is nowhere near done wheeling and dealing. This time the Carolina Hurricanes GM adds a solid offensive center in exchange for a prospect. The forward in question is Erik Haula of the Vegas Golden Knights. In exchange the Carolina Hurricanes send prospect Center Nicolas Roy to Vegas along with a conditional 2021 fifth round pick.
Erik Haula missed a large portion of the 2018-2019 season after a scary injury early in the season that saw him being stretchered off the ice. However in only 15 games he managed to score two goals and collect five assists for a total of seven points. While that may not seem like much keep in mind that the year before that he scored 29 goals and collected 26 points in 76 games. Not including three goals and six assists in 20 playoff games.
Haula comes attached with a $2.75 Million cap hit and only one year left on his contract. He may be considered a rental player unless the team likes what he brings to the table and decides to give him an extension, not much unlike how they treated Jordan Martinook. Nicolas Roy was also on the final year of his contract, an ELC which will see him become an RFA next year.
This trade means a lot of things for the Carolina Hurricanes. For one, whichever player they go out and get on offense during free agency will most likely not be a center. Currently they have seven NHL Caliber centers that are either under contract or RFAs with qualifying offers: Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, Lucas Wallmark, Martin Necas, Greg McKegg, Patrick Marleau, and now Erik Haula.
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Speaking of Patrick Marleau, This trade most likely marks the end of his very short stint as a Carolina Hurricane. While it would have been wonderful to see him dress in Hurricanes red and black and show some of this young roster a thing or two, much like Justin Williams over the last two years, this trade is indicative that they will buy him out and allow him to negotiate a separate deal with the San Jose Sharks.
This trade also means that the team wasn’t high on the performance of Nicolas Roy, who came up for six games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season and throwing nothing but goose eggs on his stats sheet. No goals, no assists, and no points. Not even any PIM. Even his plus-minus was a zero. He registered a single shot on goal on three attempts in 42 minutes played across those six games.
This trade is a win for the Carolina Hurricanes who will get a healthy Haula in exchange for a prospect who failed to prove himself. While Roy might find new footing with the Vegas Golden Knights or their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Timberwolves, This is an excellent trade for a player who is competing for his next contract after a year that was involuntarily subpar.
There might be more to this trade than just acquiring Haula, perhaps Don Waddell and the Carolina Hurricanes will further flip him to another team. But he remains on the roster for the 2019-2020 season, he will be a player to look out for.