A player briefly apart of the Hurricanes’ organization, Evgenii Dadonov has been a solid player for the Panthers. As mentioned with Hoffman, the future of Florida’s core is up in the air so Dadonov could potentially become a UFA. The 31-year-old has put up 182 points in 225 games since returning from the KHL three years ago.
Playing his entire nine-year career with Nashville thus far, Craig Smith is a solid 3C. With the Canes having Jordan Staal under contract for the next several seasons, there really isn’t a fit here either. But as a right shot, he will be a nice get for contending teams.
Of the top pending UFA forwards Mikael Granlund seems more so like the type the Canes would be after. Not the flashiest of players, he is a solid middle-six guy capable of chipping in offense. The 28-year-old hasn’t been that good of a fit in Nashville and was well on his way to having one of his worst seasons statically in his career before the break-in play.
A buy low type guy, Granlund could easily get back to his former 60+ point form under the right circumstances. With a bunch of Fins on Carolina’s roster, he could be a nice fit in Raleigh on a one to two year “prove it” type deal, think along the lines of what Ryan Dzingel got.
Averaging 20-30 points a year, Jesper Fast seems like the type of guy who could give a bit more on the right team. Rumored to be looking for a hefty raise on his current deal with New York, Fast isn’t an upgrade over what the Canes have in their top six currently.
Being one of the few right shot options, he’s ideally a guy that contending teams like Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay would look to add for depth, not someone whom you’d overpay for.
Tyler Ennis seems like a guy the Hurricanes of old would sign to a deal. With by far his best season since 2014-15, he’s another guy teams have to be careful to not overpay for. Seeing expanded ice time on a bad Ottawa team, his numbers are a bit inflated. On most teams, he would be nothing more than a fourth liner/13th forward.
The last name on this list, Vladislav Namestnikov is another “buy low” guy.
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Before getting traded to New York, he had 44 points in 62 games with the Lightning. Maybe it was a product of playing with great players since he only had 35 in 99 total games with the Rangers, but Namestnikov could be a really cheap depth signing for any team. Traded to the Avalanche at the deadline, he has six points in nine games, showing the scoring potential we saw years ago.
Of all the names on this list, the only ones that would really make sense for the Canes are more middle-six guys. While it would be nice to see a player like Hall dawn the Hurricanes crest, it just isn’t all that realistic. Honestly only a piece or two away from being true contenders, the upcoming offseason will be an interesting one for a variety of reasons.
Question for CC readers: Do you see the Carolina Hurricanes as bidders for any of these potential UFA forwards?