Carolina Hurricanes: Should The Canes Re-Sign Ferland?

RALEIGH, NC - MAY 14: Carolina Hurricanes left wing Micheal Ferland (79) skates int a face-off circle during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes on May 14, 2019 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - MAY 14: Carolina Hurricanes left wing Micheal Ferland (79) skates int a face-off circle during a game between the Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes on May 14, 2019 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

After locking up Sebastian Aho for the next five years and re-signing Petr Mrazek, the Carolina Hurricanes do have a little bit of cash lying around. Could they spend it on Micheal Ferland?

Micheal Ferland was acquired y the Carolina Hurricanes from Calgary in the Summer of 2018 along with Dougie Hamilton (and the rights to Adam Fox, which were later traded to the New York Rangers) in exchange for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin.

Hanafin and Lindholm were both Hurricanes draft picks and had been with the team their entire career, so to many, it was a bittersweet trade. I think most felt the Hurricanes got the immediate upgrade at both the forward and defense positions, but perhaps sacrificed some of the future.

To me, the trade was without question an immediate success. Despite Elias having a breakout year in Calgary, Ferland and Dougie were big upgrades on the ice.

When you’re grading the immediate impact of trades, I think one of the best analyses is comparing the current year of the new players with the previous year of the old players. In other words, here, comparing 18-19 Dougie and Ferland with 17-18 Hanafin and Lindholm. I don’t think that’s close.

This past season it was always obvious when Dougie and/or Ferland were on the ice. I suppose that isn’t always a good thing, but it usually was. The previous year, Lindholm and Hanafin seemed to usually blend in and didn’t seem to make big impact plays.

That’s not say we won the trade in the long run. That of course is TBD. Out of the pieces we got in exchange for Lindholm and Hanafin, Fox never signed, Ferland is a free agent, and Dougie has two more seasons. I don’t know if the Hurricanes make that trade knowing this would be the result 12 months later, but maybe they do I don’t know.

During the year, negotiations between the Hurricanes and Ferland never really seemed to be that close to even getting off the ground.

As quickly as he got to Raleigh, there were rumors that he was being shopped. He very nearly was traded at the trade deadline in February.

But he had gotten hurt and has had injury problems for a lot of his career. He missed games sporadically throughout the regular season and then missed a few playoff games because of nagging injuries.

Throughout the year, the rumors suggested he was asking for an AAV of around $6 million. To me, that seems a little high, especially now. I mean, Aho got $8.4, but the circumstances are little different.

A comparable player is probably Wayne Simmonds, who just got a 1 year, $5 million deal with the New Jersey Devils. That AAV was probably what Ferland was looking for during the season but That’s probably a little higher than his ballpark right now, and of course, he’ll want a longer deal.

Before we get into how much we should be willing to pay, we need to analyze how much we are able to pay.

After the Aho and Mrazek deals, the Hurricanes have about $10.3 million in cap space. That’s . . . not that much.

If Justin Williams comes back, and the Hurricanes’ front office has said that he probably will, that’s probably about $4-$6 million off the board. It’s possible he comes back for significantly below his market value, but he made $4.5 million last year and has done all he needs to do in the NHL including winning three Stanley Cups and and Conn Smythe, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants all the money he can get (and who could blame him).

We also have A LOT of RFAs to sign:

Brock McGinn

Haydn Fleury

Gustav Forsling

Clark Bishop

Anton Forsberg

Trevor Carrick

Roland McKeown

Saku Maenalanen

They all need new deals. Now we don’t have to sign all of them, and most of them won’t make very much money. But I don’t know where you find the $5 million needed to sign Ferland without making some moves.

Perhaps the Hurricanes have these moves up their sleeves. They have certainly made some interesting ones with Waddell and Dundon at the helm so who knows. However, I just don’t see them making any significant trades to re-sign Micheal Ferland.

But wouldn’t it be awesome if they did. Just got the boys back together for another ride. Last year was one of the best years of Hurricanes hockey ever. Ferland was no small part of that and his presence on the ice was felt every shift. You knew when he was out there.

Maybe the need for a bigger body in the NHL isn’t what it used to be, but it certainly adds something. Ferland brought that to the table and more. He was one of the team’s leading scorers in the first half of the season until he got hurt.

I would absolutely love to see Ferland back in Hurricanes Red next season but I just don’t see it happening, at least not for the money he’s asking (or reportedly asking).

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But hey, free agency opened July 1 and it seemed like everyone signed and Ferland didn’t. Maybe he looks at the market and doesn’t like what he sees, comes back, and signs a team friendly deal. Well, we can dream at least.