After making two splashes in two days, the Carolina Hurricanes GM, Don Waddell has strengthened the depth of the team greatly. With some cap space still available, is the job done before Friday?
Newly acquired defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will take care of helping the defensive group, while contributing greatly to the power play. Another important factor in this trade is that Gostisbehere has an expiring contract this season.
Jesse Puljujarvi, acquired yesterday from the Edmonton Oilers will add some size up front and attempt to reach his potential after being drafted in the first round in 2016.
So the trade scoreboard shows that the Canes have added a defenseman, forward and now what is next?
Nope, don’t need a goalie.
Maybe another sniper? Most likely not as the $2,606,667 cap space will not allow and Rod Brind’Amour has stated that no one from the current roster will be heading out before Friday’s deadline.
What could be on the cheaper side both cost and salary wise? Toughness.
This team may lack the superstar acquisition of the likes of Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane or Bo Horvat but they have solid depth up and down the lineup and now even in the press box.
But it has long been yearned by Caniacs to have someone around that will stand up for a teammate and cause fear in the opposition so that nothing dirty will happen to the top guys.
With the available cap space and over 24 hours of trade availability left, Waddell can shop for the right fit to be a guy that knows his role and could be in and out of the lineup depending on health and need.
The right combination of contract, toughness and character is out there somewhere and now the focus can be all on this attribute.
One off the radar player that could be helpful is Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson.
The 6 ‘4 204 pound winger from Ann Arbor, Michigan is just the type of player that could fit in the lineup on the fourth line when needed. Having been an 18th overall draft choice in 2010, Watson has some skill to go with his grit and size.
Playing along the plan of acquiring expiring contracts due to the cap space being available due to LTIR players, Watson is making $1.5 million this season and is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The 31 year old forward has dropped the gloves 10 times this season which is second most in the NHL. Additionally, he has 132 hits this season with 213 hits the prior season in 67 games.
The physicality is unquestionable but as mentioned, he can contribute on the ice with 7 goals this season which matches the amount from Teuvo Teravainen and Jesper Fast.
Ottawa has been active heading into the deadline with the acquisition of Jacob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. They are a bubble team that is making a run for the Wild Card and could use some roster flexibility for further moves before Friday.
The Canes have plenty of draft assets to offer but I wonder if Dylan Coghlan would be a player of interest by Ottawa. Ottawa has only 2 right handed defenseman and could always use some power play assistance.
Seemingly out of the picture now in Raleigh, Coghlan would welcome the move.
No matter what happens, Waddell has done a nice job strengthening this group and has the luxury of shopping calmly in the next day or so for some toughness.