Friday, July 17, 2009

What Just Happened Here? A Hurricane Blow Through?

Free agents:
LW Erik Cole, $4,000,000 (u)
D Dennis Seidenberg, 1,200,000 (u)
RW Chad LaRose, 875,000 (u)
LW Ryan Bayda, 475,000 (u)
RW Tuomo Ruutu, 2,250,000 (a)
D Anton Babchuk, 1,000,000 (r)

LW Erik Cole, 2 years, $5.8M (re-signed)
RW Chad LaRose, 2 years, $3.4M (re-signed)
D Andrew Alberts, 2 years, $2.1M (Flyers)
RW Tom Kostopoulos, 3 years, $2.75M (Canadiens)


I'm not sure over the past decade that there is a team that has done more with less than the Carolina Hurricanes. I don't mean that as a slight, more of a compliment actually. There's more turnover behind the bench than their is on their roster.

They bring in has-beens or never-weres, the Jussi Jokinen's and Sergei Samsonov's of the world, and completely turn around their career. But that's not what we're talkin' about here, let's talk about their offseason.

Oh wait, I guess those first two paragraphs do kind of fit in. The Canes kept Erik Cole in the fold this time, instead of letting him walk and pining for his services come trade deadline time, and Chad LaRose, who was the only guy who showed up in the series against Pittsburgh, gets a modest raise.

Now for the signings. Is Tom Kostopolous going to turn into a 50 point player? Probably not, but perhaps joining Matt Cullen and Chad LaRose on that 2nd line might be a boon for his career. That is, of course, if Paul Maurice deems him worthy. It seems that the Canes must think they're going to lose out on the services of Dennis Seidenberg over the course of the next couple weeks, otherwise I'm not sure on what planet Andrew Alberts gets a 2 year contract. But in reality, Alberts at $1.1 million a year is probably much more acceptable than a Sedienberg at $1.8.

So I think the Canes, not unlike the Sabres, went horizontal. There's no way they close the gap on Washington, but I think Tampa might be a little too close for comfort for Jim Rutherford. It seems they're pretty much done with free agency, so looks like this will be the team they move forward with.

Will they finish 6th in the conference again? Well, will we see Cam Ward circa rounds 1 & 2 against the Devils and Bruins or Cam Ward circa PWND in round 3? Imagine that, a season hinging on a goalie's performance, haven't heard that one before.

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Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.