Found July 04, 2013 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
NHL free agency begins on Friday but the mostly rounded-out nature of the Carolina Hurricanes roster -- not to mention the amount of payroll they already have committed -- means that the organization will most likely not be big players. After awarding wing Alex Semin a five-year, 35-million contract extension last season, the Hurricanes did most of their big-spending long before free agency neared. Also, they had inked center Jordan Staal to a 10-year, 60-million deal last summer shortly after acquiring him from Pittsburgh via trade. With Semin, Staal, Jordans brother Eric, Jeff Skinner, Jiri Tlusty and Tuomo Ruutu, the Canes top six forwards would be the envy of many teams. According to the website, which tracks NHL salary information, the Canes have 17 players under contract for a total of 57.9 million, which presently ranks fifth-highest of the leagues 30 teams. Technically speaking, that means the Canes only need to add three more players to their roster. One of those is likely to be defenseman Ryan Murphy, the teams first-round pick in 2011, and another possibility is 2013 first-round pick Elias Lindholm, a center. And while goalie Justin Peters counts among those 17, its possible the Hurricanes will go after a more proven NHL back-up. Then its a matter of signing third- and fourth-line forwards and perhaps a depth defenseman with an offensive upside. Pat Dwyer is one of the few bottom-six forwards under contract who appears set to make the opening roster. Other possibilities are Jeremy Welsh, who would still have rookie status, Kevin Westgarth and Drayson Bowman. It remains to be seen whether the team and forward Chad Larose, one of the franchise's longest-tenured players who will be an unrestricted free agent, can agree on a new deal or whether the Canes want him back under any circumstances. The Canes could use a penalty-killing forward, as two of their top five in average shorthanded time on ice from last season (Jussi Jokinen, Adam Hall) are gone. Here are five possible players the Hurricanes could target in free agency or through trade to fill out their roster: Matt Cullen, center: Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford loves to go back-to-the-future and re-acquire his former players. Cory Stillman, Erik Cole and Joe Corvo are just but a few with whom he has done that. Cullen, who will be 37 in November, already has done two stints in Carolina, which, incidentally, account for his two best pro seasons, including 2005-06 when he played on the franchise's Stanley Cup-winning team. He would provide excellent two-way depth as a third-line center, possibly allowing Lindholm to ease into the league either on the wing or as the fourth-line center. Cullen has the added benefit of being able to kill penalties. Danny Cleary, right wing: The 34-year-old is coming off a contract that averaged 2.8 million. He has hit the 20-goal plateau three times, but at this stage in his career he could be more of a third-liner who has the ability to step up into a top-six role, if called upon. He comes with tons of experience: He won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2008 and scored nine goals in 23 playoff games the next season as the Red Wings fell to Pittsburgh in seven games in the Cup Final. Matt Hendricks, left wing: After seeing the 32-year-old play against them in the Southeast Division for the last three seasons as a member of Washington, this move would be of the if you cant beat em, join em-variety. At 6-foot, 211-pounds, Hendricks brings a rugged style and personality that teammates love and opponents hate. In 263 career games, he has 365 penalty minutes. But he also brings a measure of skill. He has 27 goals and 31 assists (.22 points per game) and, surprisingly, is a good shootout player. Johan Hedberg, goalie: The 40-year-old remains under contract for one year at 1.4 million with New Jersey (although it was reported on Thursday that the Devils placed him on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out his contrat). After trading for Cory Schneider, the Devils needed to move Hedberg, who could be a good insurance policy for another team. As recently as 2011-12, a year the Devils advanced to the Cup Final, Hedberg went 17-7 with a .918 save percentage. There are few better teammates or pros in the league than Hedberg, who always keeps himself in top condition. Joe Corvo, defenseman: Is it possible that Rutherford will bring the 36-year-old back for another season, his sixth in three separate tenures with the franchise? He was still productive offensively last season, totaling six goals and 11 assists in 40 games and was a respectable minus-3. Rutherford has said he will allow all of the teams free agents to become unrestricted. He also said he wants a quarterback for the power play. Newly acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera does not seem to fit that role and if Murphy is not yet up to the task as a rookie, Corvo could be a good fall-back policy -- at the right price.

Carolina Hurricanes: What Scouts Are Saying About Their Draft

Even the best laid plans go awry, Jim Rutherford knows, but the alternatives can sometimes unearth hidden treasures. The Carolina general manager couldn’t cajole the big kahuna (a top-four defenseman traded by a willing team) to take his bait (the fifth-overall selection in Sunday’s draft). Rutherford didn’t scamper around the Prudential Center floor Sunday at the 2013 NHL...

Khudobin signs one-year deal with Carolina

Didn't see this one coming. Bruins backup goaltender Anton Khudobin just signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. Hurricanes sign Anton Khudobin, 1 year, $800,000. — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 5, 2013 Wonder what Boston was offering. That's not exactly a major contract and doubt he'll beat out Cam Ward as the starter... ...

Dan Ellis To Dallas

on Dan Ellis: $900,000 AAV on his deal with Dallas — Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 5, 2013 2-year deal.

Sign bring back goalie Dan Ellis in free agency

Free agent goaltender Dan Ellis has signed a two-year, $1.8 million contract with Dallas, where he made his NHL debut nine years ago. The deal announced Friday was the latest in a busy week for the Stars, who have made two trades to acquire three centers. The 33-year-old Ellis was 6-8-2 in 19 appearances with Carolina last season. He has a 2.73 goals-against average and a .908...

Matt Karash: The most top-heavy team in the NHL salary-wise is...?

…the Carolina Hurricanes. Say what? Who? The small market Carolina Hurricanes? That’s right. If you add up the top 6 salary cap hits for the rosters of all 30 NHL teams, it turns out that the Carolina Hurricanes top the charts at a very big marketish $38.0M averaging $6.3M per player. I used top 6 as an arbitrary number figuring that could be a starting lineup though...

Hurricanes Free Agency Final Thoughts

The free agency period is less than 10 hours away from beginning and it's still tough to get a grasp on what exactly Hurricanes will do over the next few days. With a few needs to address and not much cap space to work with, GM Jim Rutherford is sort of in a bind this summer and will need to think of some creative ways to give the Hurricanes roster a boost heading into next season...

UFA Preview: Dan Ellis

Next up on the UFA Preview series is Dan Ellis of the Carolina Hurricanes. Once July 5 rolls around, if he is not re-signed by his current team, he is open to conversing and signing with any team in the league. Dan Ellis | G 6'1 | 191lbs 6/19/80; Age: 33 Past Contracts  Signed in 2008: 2-years, $3.5 million; $1.75 million cap hit Signed in 2010: 2-years...

Canes Sign Goalie Khudobin

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Anton Khudobin on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Khudobin $800,000 for the 2013-14 season. “Anton proved to be a very capable NHL backup for the Bruins last year,” said Rutherford. “This...

First Impressions: Mike Komisarek signing

The Hurricanes made another move to address their defense this off-season by signing Mike Komisarek to a one-year deal at $700k. Komisarek is a ten-year veteran who at the very least gives the Hurricanes some defensive depth and more of a physical presence on their blue-line. He was a solid shutdown defenseman with Montreal for most of his career, but his play dropped off quite a...

First Impressions: Anton Khudobin

After Dan Ellis signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Stars, it looked like the Hurricanes were going to enter next season with Justin Peters as their back-up goaltender. This all changed once they signed Anton Khudobin to a one-year, $800,000 contract to add another goalie to the mix. Khudobin isn't exactly a proven commodity since he is 27 years old and has played only 21...

Will Zac Dalpe take the next step?

The Hurricanes need to add forward depth this summer but don't have a lot of cap space to do so. There are a lot of free agents they could sign to fill this void, but having someone from within take hold of one of the bottom-six spots could go a long way. The frustrating part is that the Hurricanes have been saying the same thing for the last few years, only for different positions...

Getting tougher to play against

2013 was a painful year for the Carolina Hurricanes and it had an appropriate ending with the team losing 8-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. During that game, I remember the Root Sports Pittsburgh commentators saying that the Hurricanes were "making it too easy" for Pittsburgh. The Pens were skating circles around the Hurricanes for most of the game doing basically whatever...

Matt Karash: Canes free agent Friday preview

What I want: I want Jim Rutherford to move aggressively to shore up the defense and build out a decent 3rd line. The premium version of shoring up the defense would include 3 pieces: 1) A top 4 defenseman creating 5 options to fill 4 spots and making for great depth below the top 4; 2) At least 1 if not 2 good defensive forwards with a strong penalty-killing resume to help boost...

Carolina Hurricanes Sign Backup Goaltender Anton Khudobin by   Steven Ellis

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed goaltender Anton Khudobin to a one year, $800K deal. Khudobin was traded to the Boston Bruins from the Minnesota Wild on February 28, 2011 in exchange for Jeff Penner and Mikko Lehtonen. This was the best possible situation for the 2004 draft pick, with Tim Thomas expected to retire in the near future. While playing with Boston this past season, [...]
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