A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

push comes to shove with Vasicek

Negotiations between the Carolina Hurricanes and Josef Vasicek have reached a critical point. According to this article in today's Raleigh News and Observer, big Joe has been given a "final offer" of slightly less than the $1.14M/season that Erik Cole just signed. Hurricanes management is expecting an answer from Vasicek's agent sometime today.
Vasicek led the Canes in 2003-04 with 19 goals and 26 assists for 45 total points. He screwed himself out of being eligible for arbitration by not signing last summer. If he and the Canes are unable to come to terms and remains unsigned on the December 1 free agent signing deadline, he would have to go back to Europe.
Canes fans everywhere have gone from being a little frustrated to being very worried about this.
If this doesn't work out, I don't think our players in the system are capable of stepping up. We're going to have to dip into the free agency pool.

There's a rumor being trumpeted by certain Canes fans that we're looking at Martin St. Louis , who remains a RFA. It indeed looks like the Bolts won't be able to afford to retain him, but I want to make one thing very clear. I DO NOT WISH TO ENDORSE THIS RUMOR. Sure, it would be sweet, but it wouldn't make sense for the Canes to go for him.
We need a mid-tier forward, and at this point, there's not a lot left. We may, though, have to grab some of the cast-offs who nobody wants. If this Vasicek thing falls through, I'd like to see us grab former Cane Bates Battaglia, who lives in the area, and is apparently anxiously waiting for Jim Rutherford's call. The numbers won't be anywhere near the same, but he'd give us decent numbers. I've posted about this before. He's a good player who would come very cheap, and would be worth every penny and then some. I say we should sign him just as insurance. However, the team is looking to carry only 21 players, so they might want to set their sights a little higher.

I'm just hoping that things turn out alright. Unfortunately, I won't know until very late tonight.

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