With the Carolina Hurricanes season over a little quicker than they would have hoped for after a quick four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference champ, there are now a bunch of questions surrounding the Carolina Hurricanes, with one question about what to do with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Justin Williams.
The veteran captain will turn 38 years old early on in the season next year, but he was a key piece for Carolina’s success, posting 23 goals and 53 points last season as well as four goals and seven points in 15 playoff games. The News & Observer’s Chip Alexander writes that after signing a two-year deal at $4.5MM turned out great for Carolina two years ago and believes that Williams would be willing to come back on a one-year deal at roughly the same price.
“I know how much he’s put into this and I know there’s only so much gas in the tank, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I’m going to make sure he takes a couple of months before he makes a decision.”
- Eric Engels of Sportsnet writes that with the top two free agent defensemen that Montreal Canadiens’ Marc Bergevin can add this offseason in Jake Gardiner and Alexander Edler (both of whom may not be worth the money it would take to sign them), the Canadiens might have to solve their need for a top-four defensemen via trade. The scribe suggests the team might have to move some of their top young prospects to improve its blueline and might have to consider moving either Nick Suzuki, Ryan Poehling, Cayden Primeau, Jesse Ylonen or Alex Romanov for help. One idea would be to try to pry Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere away with one of those top prospects as the 26-year-old could be moved to add more long-term help. Gostisbehere might immediately upgrade a defense which still needs help on their top-four. The scribe adds that Florida’s Mike Matheson could also be a candidate if the Panthers need to move out some salary to sign top free agents, which is expected.
- TribLive’s Jonathan Bombulie writes that with Jake Guentzel’s new contract kicking in this season as his salary goes from $925K to $6MM next season, the team must be real careful in their negotiations with their five restricted free agents. The team expects that defenseman Marcus Pettersson should walk away with the biggest raise, as the team projects that Pettersson’s salary should increase from $794K to somewhere under $2MM per season. The 23-year-old defenseman established himself in Pittsburgh’s crowded defense after the Penguins acquired him in December for forward Daniel Sprong. Pettersson had two goals and 19 points in 57 games in Pittsburgh and had a plus-13 ratio on the ice.