Hurricanes have had a log jam on the blueline for years, it seems like there’s respite coming on the horizon with some of the pending UFA’s, here are the blueline reinforcements.
It seems that since the dawn of time itself, the Carolina Hurricanes have been blessed with a great blue line and a lot of backend talent. From guys like Glen Wesley and Frantisek Kaberle through the era of guys like Tim Gleason to the modern days of Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Dougie Hamilton. Carolina seemingly always have a good back end.
This is certainly the case right now, but with both Trevor van Riemsdyk and Joel Edmundson being pending unrestricted free agents for the coming summer, there’s some respite for a log-jammed defence core. More of an opportunity for someone like Haydn Fleury is in order if TVR and Edmundson don’t come back next year.
Someone like Jake Gardiner may get an extended run in the top 4 alongside Pesce, with Hamilton and Slavin remaining the premier pairing. Maybe that helps Gardiner get a fresh start after a slow start to this season, as he’s shown his quality since that slow start. Maybe a redo helps rebuild his confidence and rebuilds the confidence the fans can have in him.
There will be chances for some of the guys down in Charlotte. Guys like Jake Bean and Chase Priskie may get a shot next year in the NHL. The 3rd pairing will be completely custom made. This means you can throw a young guy and a vet on that 3rd pairing or two kids, or sign two vets for it. It’s a good luxury to have.
If you elect to go with kids, there’s a lot of guys in Charlotte who could come up and succeed, the previously mentioned Jake Bean or Chase Priskie. Maybe someone like Roland McKeown finally gets his NHL shot. Or, there might be an inhouse option that you may have forgotten exists. Let’s take a look at three of our better defender prospects from outside the Charlotte Checkers.