Hurricanes Plans Sizzling Out Fast

By Nick Marek

The Carolina Hurricanes did everything in their power this off-season (and even made offers) to land at least one of the top three available players. No Zach Parise, no Ryan Suter and no Rick Nash. But they may have one more plan to fill out their top six before calling it quits this off-season.

At this point, trading for young Anaheim scorer Bobby Ryan seems unlikely because it would take a more expensive package for him than Nash. The Canes front office made it clear that there are a few young stars they will not discuss trading.

Bobby Ryan fantasies aside, both Alex Semin and Shane Doan are still on the market in search of some potential suitors. Television Play-by-Play announcer Chip Alexander confirmed that the Hurricanes have not given up on making more roster additions this summer.

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This is a new process for everyone in Carolina. When was the last time the Hurricanes have tried to compete with the bigger markets and lure players in with the checkbook and a young team? If you whispered “never” while reading this article then you are correct. I think even the Hurricanes are trying to get used to the adjustment of being buyers with their small market budget.

The one thing the Hurricanes have successfully done is maintain a low team salary cap which in turn helped them sign Jordan Staal to a ten year extension earlier this month. He will cost the team six million dollars in cap space each season. This was the summer to spend because the only critical player the Hurricanes need to lock up next season is Jeff Skinner when his three year entry level contract expires (he makes $1.4 million next season). It is time to act, Carolina.

Semin is a high-risk, high-reward forward with one of the best wrist shots in the game. After reaching the 40 goal mark three years ago, he has failed to surpass 30 goals each of the past two seasons. Kirk Muller is confident that he and his staff can address Semin’s off-ice issues and help him rediscover his clean, offensive game. However, the Hurricanes made it clear that they are not interested in a long term investment in Semin because of the risk he brings to Raleigh. The Hurricanes do not have the money like Detroit or Pittsburgh or New York to take any chances.

Doan was the other name who joined the mix this July. The Coyotes captain is drawing interest from contending teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. If the Hurricanes could acquire a player like Doan and put him on the top two lines, the Hurricanes will quickly change their franchise from playoff hopeful to potential contender in the East.

The 35-year-old right wing put up 50 points last season which was his lowest total since the 2001-02 season, but he is one of the proven studs on the market because of his consistency in a struggling Phoenix franchise. He came alive in the teams playoff run with five goals and four assists in 16 games.

Both of these players would give the Hurricanes options with their top two lines and Jim Rutherford mentioned around the holiday that he would also be interested in seeing who is available on the trading market if they swing and miss on Doan and Semin. Maybe if every plan falls through, they could reach out to RFA Evander Kane who is 20 years and has as much potential as the likes of Skinner if he has a good team around him. Kane is still not legal to drink, but he scored 30 goals last season with the big boys.

Otherwise, just expect the Canes to re-sign unrestricted free agents Zach Boychuk and Drayson Bowman and make a couple of one year contract offers so they can be aggressive again next summer.

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