The Carolina Hurricanes have secured their deal with coach Rod Brind’Amour, but more free-agency challenges are ahead

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Carolina Hurricanes is congratulated by other players

The Carolina Hurricanes have secured their top free agent, coach Rod Brind’Amour. However, the road ahead may be tougher for president and general manager Don Waddell.

The Hurricanes have made six consecutive playoff appearances, winning at least one series each time and reaching the Eastern Conference final twice. Yet, the team still seeks a breakthrough to win the Stanley Cup, having lost in the second round to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers. Additionally, there are upcoming challenges with free agency.

Waddell acknowledged that while the team wants to maintain its success, changes will be necessary. “Players work hard to reach this point where they become unrestricted, allowing them to see what other teams will offer,” Waddell said during a joint news conference with Brind’Amour on Monday.

“We hope to retain some players, but there will definitely be players entering unrestricted free agency on July 1.” The list of unrestricted free agents includes trade-deadline addition Jake Guentzel and four of the team’s top seven defensemen.

Also, young talents like Seth Jarvis and Martin Necas are restricted free agents (RFA). This means another team could offer them a contract, and Carolina would have the chance to match it. Additionally, players like top defenseman Jaccob Slavin could potentially sign contract extensions with a year remaining on their deals.

Carolina Hurricanes celebrates the goal

Securing Brind’Amour and his staff with multiyear contracts was the initial step, as announced on Sunday.

Brind’Amour, a key figure in the franchise who led Carolina to the 2006 Cup and won the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach in 2021, expressed his attachment to the team, stating it would be hard for him to imagine coaching anywhere else. He also rejected the notion that Carolina’s approach might be better suited for regular-season success rather than winning the Cup, emphasizing their competitiveness.

“We’re knocking on the door,” Brind’Amour said. “I’d rather be knocking on the door than be two houses down, which is where we’ve been, we were, for a long time. … I believe in the way we do things. And the best thing about it is the guys in there believe it.

“So we’re going to be sharper. We’re going to try to obviously continue to get better. But I don’t think we need to change a bunch of things.”

Guentzel’s addition was seen as a crucial move for this season. He had an impressive performance with 12 goals and 34 points in 28 regular-season and postseason games. However, the 29-year-old will be among the top names in the free-agency market.

Rod Brind Amour speaks in the press conference

“I’ve got a family now, so it’s a big part of it,” Guentzel mentioned during end-of-season interviews on Saturday. “It’s not just a decision for me, it’s for me and my family. … There’s a lot of factors that go into it. But so far I’ve loved everything about this place.”

Among the restricted free agents, 22-year-old Jarvis has proven himself with 33 goals this season and 13 playoff goals in his first three seasons. Despite playing through injuries, he only missed one game all season.

There’s also Necas, a first-round pick in 2017, who has become an offensively skilled forward at just 25. Waddell praised him as “an exceptionally skilled player that has a lot more to give,” and brushed off reports suggesting Necas wants to be traded.

The unrestricted free agent forwards include Teravainen, 29, known for his secondary scoring; Noesen, 31, who scores gritty goals near the crease; and alternate captain Martinook, 31.

Defensively, Carolina’s second pairing of Pesce and Skjei, along with third-pairing blue-liner Chatfield, will all be unrestricted free agents. DeAngelo, who filled in as the seventh defenseman during the playoffs, is also in this category.

Steve Jarvis slips past the gialtender

Carolina’s main goalies, Frederik Andersen and Pyotr Kochetkov, have contracts. There’s another factor to consider, which is the potential addition of top prospect Alexander Nikishin, a left-handed defenseman playing in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League.

Nikishin, who stands at 6 feet 3 inches and weighs 216 pounds, has been leading KHL defensemen in points for two consecutive seasons and has scored 28 goals.

“I’m not going to say it’s off the table for next year,” Waddell mentioned. “We’re still in discussions with the necessary people. … The aim is to have clarity before free agency because he could greatly impact our team. “I believe we’ll find a way to sign him, whether he commits to staying there or not for next year is what we need to figure out.”


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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