There’s no better place to start than the UFA on the Canes’ biggest line. Nino Niederreiter will be an unrestricted free agent when his contract expires. Could the Hurricanes look to bring the “Swiss missile”? Well, yes. We know that Nino has been an essential player for the Hurricanes and I think we’d all love to see him back as he has become one of the fan favorites in Raleigh.
Niederreiter has had his best season since the Hurricanes acquired the Swiss winger from the Minnesota Wild. 24 goals and 44 points while playing on the Canes’ defensive line are just some of the things Nino has done so well this season. As one of the best defensive players on the team, Niederreiter became a key cog in the Hurricanes’ forechecking machine. He’s had a fantastic season.
Niederreiter currently makes $5.25 million and is likely to have to take a pay cut to find a new home. In Raleigh, if he was to go as low as $4 million, the team could very much explore the option of bringing him back. However, nothing is done until it is done and there will be a chance for him to select his future team. We’d all love to see him back in the City of Oaks, but we know that it is his choice.
There’s no one in the system in terms of prospects that plays quite the way that Nino does. He has the ability to be both physical, and responsible, and pose a threat in the offensive zone as he can. There are not a lot of players that can do that as Nino can and he will be a wanted piece of an offense somewhere. I’d love nothing more than to see him back in Raleigh, but I don’t think it is likely.
Next, a Pittsburgh native that’s become a favorite in Raleigh.