Carolina Hurricanes Pending Free Agents

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Carolina Hurricanes Pending Free Agents

Post by CanesChatter on Thu May 12, 2016 10:34 pm

The Hurricanes have some important decisions to make this offseason. Carolina made huge strides last season and finished with a 35-31-16 record. The Canes lost a considerable amount of games in the shootout, which prevented them from ending their playoff drought. A bright spot during last season was definitely their young guns on defense. Noah Hanifin already had Caniacs excited before the season started, but Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin soon became fan favorites! With injuries to James Wisniewski and Justin Faulk, the Hurricanes called up Pesce and Slavin to fill the void. Both rookies combined for 6 goals, 36 points, and 202 blocked shots. Jaccob Slavin was the best defenseman down the stretch and led the team in ice time during Faulk's absence. Even though Carolina was unable to clinch a spot in the playoffs, the team is being led in the right direction under Ron Francis. If RF is able to acquire some bottom six scoring, add a scoring winger on the top line,  and can figure out the goaltending issue this offseason, I believe the Canes will make the postseason next year.

Here are the pending free agents this offseason:
Nathan Gerbe- Nathan had an injury plagued season and was only able to suit up for 47 games. He finished with just 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists); and other than being an energizer off the bench, he wasn't able to contribute much. Considering that he has already given a farewell to the fans, I don't expect him back next season.
Riley Nash- Riley has served an important role for the Hurricanes. He's consistently averaged 20+ points in each of the last 3 seasons. There might be some interest from other teams, as Riley is a good bottom 6 player and he would be relatively cheap. If RF can sign Nash for under 2$ million per season, I'd like to see him back as Cane.
Chris Terry- Terry has never been able to adjust to the NHL. He's put up great number in the AHL for Charlotte, but is unable to produce in Raleigh. Chris has just 34 points in 138 career NHL games. Unless he is willing to sign a two-way contract, I think it's time to cut times with him. There is going to be a lot of youth brought into training camp and I don't see him competing with younger, skillfull players.
Victor Rask- Rask had his best NHL season last year. He set career highs in goals, assists, and points, while also improving his defensive game. It's honestly a no brainer.
Brad Malone- The team's "toughness" was anything but that last season. His most memorable Cane moment was slew footing Justin Faulk in practice last season, which caused the Hurricanes star to be out of the lineup. Malone doesn't add anything offensively and took many costly penalties. I don't see RF re-signing #24.
Ryan Murphy- One of the most talked about free agents in the Canes community. Murphy is another player that hasn't been able to adapt to the NHL. He's a tremendous skater, has great vision, and wonderful offensive awareness, but struggles in the defensive zone. Ryan is undersized, which is the reason why he is outworked in front of the net. He also has been caught numerous times out of position. Whether it be in the defensive zone, or pinching in the offensive zone. Murphy holds value since he's an asset on the power play, and is a strong transitional player, but I think last season proved that he can't play in the NHL. The Hurricanes have Fleury and McKeown in the system and I don't think Murphy is part of the future. If Ron Francis does re-sign him, it could  be a sign and trade move.
Michal Jordan- He isn't the best defenseman, but he's served his role on the third pairing.With Hanifin, Hainsey,and Slavin making the team next season, I don't see Jordan in the lineup on most nights. But I think he's earned a contract with his play last season. I'd like to see him brought back to be the 7th dman for the Canes.
Cam Ward- This is by far Ron Francis's hardest decision this offseason. The biggest part of Wardo's game is the inconsistency. One game he plays like he's back in the 2006 playoffs, the next he's letting in 4 goals on 21 shots. Part of the decision making for RF will be, what goalies will be available this offseason? Is Eddie Lack ready to become the starter for the Hurricanes? Will Cam Ward be willing to take a pay cut? Those are all questions that RF will have to answer before making his decision. An ideal contract would be in the 2-3$ million range. A Lack-Ward duo would be a solid 1-2 punch.


That's all for now. I'll probably make an another article after the NHL Draft. Please give me your feedback! Thank you. Go Canes!

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Re: Carolina Hurricanes Pending Free Agents

Post by franchiseplayer on Fri May 20, 2016 11:15 pm

Gerbe is one of the hardest working gritty guys you can ask for- and he has some skill (remember the between the legs breakaway?). and he's a mentor to Hanifin... i say keep him.

Rask is a smart two-way player and is only getting better and has had some big moments... He's a model of what the Canes want from a player, kinda Brindamour-ish, no? I think he's got to stay.

Murphy - I loved this kid when I first saw him and I think he could be an all-star NHLer... but for whatever reason he hasn't fit in with the Canes... he's an NHLer with tremendous talent no doubt, but, if we can get valuable assetts for him, do it I'm ok with it.

the other FAs, no comment... except for this: We need a new goaltender. whether it's homegrown, or a trade... or whatever... I just think something has to change. But I also trust Ronny implicitly. I support whatever he decides. it's easy for me to write my opinion on here. it's not easy to actually make the decisions. Heavy is the head that wears the crown...

let's go Canes. I can't handle another year of no playoffs. It's do or die time, boys.



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Re: Carolina Hurricanes Pending Free Agents

Post by CanesChatter on Sat May 21, 2016 9:30 am

1) Gerbe is extremely hard working, but he's severely undersized. He plays hard but the production isn't there. Also, I'm not sure where he's going to go, but he made a "Goodbye" tweet to the Caniacs after this season. I'm not sure he'll be back next season.
2) I agree with everything you said about Rask.
3) Murphy handles the puck well, and I wouldn't mind him quarterbacking the second power play unit (behind Hanifin on the first), but he's another player that lacks size. Murphy continuously gets outmuscled in the defensive zone and he doesn't have strong positioning. I do agree that he has value though. I'd like to see a sign and trade to acquire younger assets.
4) Ron Francis showed that he's willing to trade anyone (Eric Staal), Cam Ward has been inconsistent and for the Canes to have any chance of making the playoffs, they need a strong goalie in net. I wouldn't mind having Ward as a backup, I just don't see him accepting that role. It will be interesting to see what happens with him.

Thank you for your feedback!
franchiseplayer wrote:Gerbe is one of the hardest working gritty guys you can ask for- and he has some skill (remember the between the legs breakaway?).    and he's a mentor to Hanifin...   i say keep him.

Rask is a smart two-way player and is only getting better and has had some big moments... He's a model of what the Canes want from a player, kinda Brindamour-ish, no?   I think he's got to stay.  

Murphy - I loved this kid when I first saw him and I think he could be an all-star NHLer... but for whatever reason he hasn't fit in with the Canes...  he's an NHLer with tremendous talent no doubt, but,  if we can get valuable assetts for him, do it I'm ok with it.  

the other FAs, no comment... except for this:  We need a new goaltender.  whether it's homegrown, or a trade... or whatever...  I just think something has to change.    But I also trust Ronny implicitly.  I support whatever he decides.   it's easy for me to write my opinion on here.   it's not easy to actually make the decisions.  Heavy is the head that wears the crown...  

let's go Canes.  I can't handle another year of no playoffs.  It's do or die time, boys.



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