As we move past July 4th and the opening of the NHL free agency, the Carolina Hurricanes seem to be the talk of the town. Between the signing and rumors surrounding Raleigh, the Canes are making noise.
As of the moment I am writing this article, Don Waddell has re-signed Jordan Staal, Jesper Fast, Antti Raanta, and Frederik Andersen.
Additionally, the Canes have brought in new blood with the signings of defenseman, Dmitry Orlov and forward, Michael Bunting, both top-of-the-list unrestricted free agents heading into the summer.
Orlov was a plus-12 last season with the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins. The 2nd round draft choice in 2009 had 7 goals and 36 points.
Bunting had 23 goals and 49 points with the Toronto Maple Leafs last campaign.
The talk after the season ended involved defenseman, Brett Pesce, and his potential contract extension. Pesce is finishing the last year of his contract in 2023-24 with a salary cap hit of $4,025,000.
The mutterings around the contract negotiations were that Don Waddell wanted Pesce to sign an extension before the start of free agency or he would be traded.
The 2013 draft pick of the Canes does not have an extension but has certainly been shopped around the NHL with recent links to the Nashville Predators.
In related rumors, it appears that the Canes and the Philadelphia Flyers have an agreed trade that would bring back Tony DeAngelo to Raleigh. Last season in Philadelphia, DeAngelo 11 goals and 42 points which was slightly less than his lone 51 point year in Carolina.
Additionally, the Canes have been long rumored to be high on the list of suitors for San Jose Sharks defenseman, Erik Karlsson. A former teammate of Brent Burns, Karlsson would bring a load of offensive talent.
In his Norris Trophy winning season, Karlsson had 25 goals and 101 points. 27 of his points were on the man advantage. Playing on a poor San Jose squad, Karlsson was a minus 26.
If this was not all crazy enough, the Canes were rumored to have signed free agent winger, Vladimir Tarasenko.
Late in the evening it was reported that the Russian was headed to Raleigh but recently has changed representation and his destination remains unclear. It is not out of the question to see Tarasenko don the Canes red and black but it is a big question mark.
With all of these signings and potential additions, some Canes will have to be on the way out to make roster openings and salary cap space.
It is great to see the aggressive nature of the Canes front office in pursuit of some solid players to add to an already good team. The window to win a Stanley Cup is now and Don Waddell certainly see this opportunity.
But when is it too much to change the culture of the locker room?