As we draw closer to the Stanley Cup Finals, only two teams are left fighting for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Carolina Hurricanes are not one of them after they were eliminated in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for a second straight year. So now what? Well, there is the NHL draft, but that is a major spin of the roulette wheel so let us look ahead a little further to NHL free agency.
Free agency opens on July 13th at midday Eastern and there are a lot of players currently looking for new destinations. We’ve got three players that hit the eighty-point mark set to become unrestricted free agents. One of them even passed the 110-point plateau so we know there’s a lot of talent on the docket. With Carolina needing forward help, this could be a great place to get it.
I’ve seen a lot of new fans around the Hurricanes fan base recently and if you don’t know how free agency works, I’ll basically just run through it here. A player can sign anywhere they want if they’re over the age of 26 or have played 7 seasons in the NHL. The league minimum this year is somewhere around the 750k mark and the league maximum is around the 16 million dollar tally. I doubt we’ll see either of those numbers with any of these players.
We know that when the Hurricanes’ season came to a close, their forward core seemed to be stretched thin and that they needed some help when it came to putting the puck in the net. Carolina’s scoring touch fades in and out so adding a big producing forward to help keep the team afloat when the scoring dies out could be a major move made by the organization this summer to strengthen the team come next spring.
This team has tried to improve its forward scoring from within and we saw some steps this year from some of the younger members of the roster, but that doesn’t mean that they have to only improve from within. There are a lot of good options in this free-agent class for the Hurricanes to consider. I think it’s time we start with a familiar face.