Take a seat, sit back, grab a glass of water and put on your reading glasses; this one is a bit of a doozy. The Carolina Hurricanes are going to have to wade through a veritable sea of contract negotiations in the coming months. In an era where the salary cap staying flat is the best case scenario for the next year or two, this could spell trouble, but I don’t entirely think it’ll be all that difficult for Waddell and Co. to handle. Let me explain.
For starters, the Carolina Hurricanes (if no moves are made this season) will have 23 players in total whose contracts will expire at the end of the 2020-21 NHL Regular Season. This number seems daunting at first, but it gets a bit better when you consider 12 of those 23 are Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) upon expiry.
The other RFAs will be Andrei Svechnikov, Morgan Geekie, Jake Bean, Jeremy Bracco, Jason Cotton, Maxime Lajoie, and Jeremy Helvig. Of this group, Svech is sure to command the highest dollar amount, but this won’t be a huge a problem. More on that point later, let’s look at the remaining players whose contracts will expire into Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) status.
The UFAs for the Carolina Hurricanes this offseason will be Ryan Dzingel, Dougie Hamilton, Jordan Martinook, Brock McGinn, James Reimer, Petr Mrazek, Joakim Ryan, Antoine Bibeau, David Gust, Drew Shore, and Max McCormick.
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Obviously, getting Dougie an extension should be the #1 priority of this group; as for the others, I’d honestly wait and see how this season unfolds for them before fully committing to re-signing them.
If I’m being really honest at this point in the season, I don’t see Max McCormick, Joakim Ryan, David Gust, Drew Shore, or the other AHLer’s above getting a significant extension or playing much outside of the AHL. Who knows, though, this season could completely change my mind. We’ll see.
Now that we’ve got whose contracts are expiring into what status out of the way, let’s look at the Carolina Hurricanes’ projected cap space for the 2021-22 season. As of the writing of this article, the Carolina Hurricanes are projected to have $28,126,417 in cap space for the 2021-22 season, according to our friends at capfriendly.com.
Alexander Semin‘s buyout money ($2,333,333) will finally be off the Carolina Hurricanes’ books, which will be a huge help in extending the projected two big fish this offseason in Andrei Svechnikov and Dougie Hamilton.
Now, a bit of a caveat: the Carolina Hurricanes will be losing at least one player to the Seattle Kraken in the upcoming Expansion Draft; I’m going to be operating under the assumption that it will be Jake Bean, so as to simplify the money math; losing Bean would mean no money saved from or added to the Canes’ cap space. If you’d like more info on the Seattle Expansion Draft, I wrote about it and what it might mean for the Carolina Hurricanes a few weeks ago.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive in to what these contract extensions might look like for some of the bigger names, starting with Doogie and Mistah Svechnikov.