The Carolina Hurricanes head into the 2013 offseason with plenty of work to do with their roster, but looking like they’re in excellent shape overall in regard to their finances. Their offensive core is locked up for the next several years, and they have very few free agent concerns within the next couple of summers.
One player that they may want to take a look at a contract extension for is a player who is quickly becoming a piece of that offensive core: Jiri Tlusty. Since coming to Carolina, Tlusty has proven to be a consistent offensive threat, with this season proving to be his best, even with the lockout.
In his three and a half seasons with the Hurricanes, Tlusty has improved every year. Prior to coming to Carolina, his career high for points was just 16. He started to break out for the Hurricanes in 2011-12 with 36 points, a total which would have been blown away if 2013 had been a full year.
Playing on the top line for Carolina in 2013, Tlusty actually eclipsed his career high for points even in the shortened season. He posted 38 on the year, including 23 goals. He was one of the only Hurricanes that was able to remain healthy, and thus consistent, over the course of an otherwise disappointing season.
The only unfortunate thing for the Hurricanes is the fact that Tlusty is heading into a contract year in 2013-14. Unfortunate for their wallets. Tlusty, who is still only 25, will cost a pretty penny as a free agent next summer if he can build on this season. Which means the Hurricanes should move to sign him to a contract extension before he has a true breakout season over an 82-game campaign.
Signing Tlusty would give them yet another building block in an already strong offensive group. He’s proven to be a consistent player in the past two years and is a key piece of this Canes team. They should seek an extension with him this summer, rather than risk losing him next year.