Carolina Hurricanes: Erik Haula In Trade Rumors?

Web personality and in game announcer Mike Maniscalco interviews Erik Haula #56 of the Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
Web personality and in game announcer Mike Maniscalco interviews Erik Haula #56 of the Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Erik Haula has been linked in trade rumors and there have been rumors of clashes with the Hurricanes coaching staff. The trade deadline is a month away.

Hurricanes’ Erik Haula had played in a game against the New York Islanders exactly one week ago, where he didn’t play too much in the third period and became a healthy scratch this past Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. In the late second period against the Islanders, Haula had lost his man, who was the Islanders captain, Anders Lee who scored the tying goal with a wide-open net.

Haula has looked frustrated ever since returning from injury, he’s been in a drought. He has no goals in his last nine games and he has no points in his last five games. Haula had been on fire before his injury was re-aggravated.

There’s likely lots of things going on in Haula’s mind, he was likely looking at a big extension, but the lack of ice time, the injury taking him out and keeping him off the score-sheet will definitely keep the contract smaller, should an extension come from the Hurricanes.

Depending on how things go on Friday against Haula’s former team, the Vegas Golden Knights, it will likely decide where Haula will end up in February or perhaps the offseason, if the Hurricanes want to hold on, like they did Micheal Ferland last season.

The Minnesota Wild, Haula’s former team, have been apparently linked into talks with the Hurricanes about a trade. The Hurricanes have been searching for a top-four defenseman to temporarily replace Dougie Hamilton, who was injured.

Jonas Brodin has been that piece that has been linked to a possible trade with the Minnesota Wild. Brodin has ideal statistics, his plus-minus is a +13 and he has loaded 19 assists on a team that is basically out of the playoff picture, they’re nearly at the bottom of the Central Division. Even Eric Staal has been in some rumors, a return to the Carolina Hurricanes that may see some teams jump and down or fans shaking their heads.

Staal has been with Carolina before, he was a leader here and he can play a 200-foot game and would probably fit very well under a Rod Brind’Amour system. It’d be nice to see Staal finish his career in Carolina and retire here. If Staal were to be reunited with the Hurricanes, he would become the second oldest player on the team, under Justin Williams.

The Hurricanes will be getting cap relief for Hamilton’s injury, which allows them to dig into a top-four defenseman or Eric Staal. Staal is linked to another season, after this one, with even a lower cap-hit than Haula’s contract. Although the Hurricanes haven’t been linked directly to the Chicago Blackhawks, about a trade sending Haula to Chicago, there has been interest in the Blackhawks’ goaltenders.

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Petr Mrazek and James Reimer have been good in net recently, but there have been times this season where goaltending has looked unstable. Chicago’s defense has looked like an ECHL or AHL team’s defense all season, only until recently, Chicago has scratched and clawed back into only a few points out of a playoff spot. Robin Lehner has been good, behind both bad performances and good performances of the Blackhawks defense.

He had a monster save percentage season after season, behind the Buffalo Sabres defense, whose defense has been abysmal for nearly a decade. With the Islanders, he had an insane .930% and he’s still rolling, he’s also on his last season of his contract, like Haula.

Staal and Lehner could be very good fits here in Carolina, Brodin would be a harder catch. A top-four defenseman isn’t easy to find in this league, that’s why the Carolina Hurricanes have so many of them, all of their current defensemen could be top-four defensemen.

A trade for another defenseman may not even be needed, but a defensively-responsible center to add to the top-six or a reliable consistent goaltender would definitely help wonders for this team.

Who knows though? Rod Brind’Amour has given Haula another chance, obviously. He will be given a chance to make it up to Brind’Amour and can Earn It Together. Under his system, it’s about earning your spot on this lineup. This game could accelerate these trade rumors or it could completely wash them all down the drain. Keep a close on this game against the Golden Knights, this Friday.

Question for Cardiac Cane Readers: Does Erik Haula bounce back and proves he belongs here or do you think he’s out the door soon?

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