Canes Loaded With Players in Final Year of Contract

Vancouver Canucks v Carolina Hurricanes
Vancouver Canucks v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

Home for the week, the Carolina Hurricanes have a couple weeks to make determinations on the team's path before the trade deadline. Although they are not nearly close to being sellers, it is a chance to evaluate the upcoming free agents on the roster and determine their future.

The normal procedure this time of year is to determine the teams that are buyers and whom are sellers. Naturally the teams at the bottom of the standings, having little chance at the playoffs, will sell off their veterans for future assets. The teams at the top of the standings will look to buy assets to help them get over the top. But this does not mean that "hockey" trades cannot be made as well.

The Canes are in an awkward spot where they are not sellers but do not have enough salary cap space to really buy. In this case, they could trade salary away to create space to make a move to improve the club.


The Canes have a unique set of unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, combined with a host of important restricted free agents. With little money available to keep everyone this summer, it is interesting to see if they could trade an unrestricted free agent that may not alter the plans this year but gain an asset to trade or keep for the future.

The list of unrestricted free agents includes Jordan Martinook, Teuvu Teravainen, Brendan Lemieux, Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei, Tony DeAngelo, Stefan Noesen, Jalen Chatfield, Antti Raanta, and Spencer Martin. Some important names on this list but more importantly some names that are due a raise and may be priced out of Carolina's plans.

Two players on this list are intriguing as they are most certainly leaving Raleigh after this season despite their crucial production. Teuvu Teravainen is making $5.4 million and will be getting that price or more on the open market at the age of 29. Stefan Noesen is making just $762,500 this season, despite having 12 goals.

Both are strong players for the Canes but this team could see a change in style to mix things up after playoff failures. Losing these players for nothing in the open market would also be a tough pill to swallow.

Perhaps Don Waddell could get creative and mix-and-match moves that could bring a new dimension to the team heading into the final stretch. At the very least, Waddell could collect assets to create cap space and use those assets in other trades or to re-stock the system. A lot of the top players in the organization are up with the club.

Either way another playoff exit will undoubtedly create a change to this roster and possibly the front office. It is time for Waddell to use his years of experience to get creative while he still has the opportunity.