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

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Vasicek inks a two-year deal.

This whole ordeal is finally over. The Hurricanes and Josef Vasicek finally came to an agreement. The two-year, $2.3M contract will pay Joe $1M this season and $1.3 in 2006-07. This is a huge part of the puzzle that we're glad has fallen into place.
When the Canes were the league's worst scoring team in 2003-04, Vasicek managed to net 19 goals and 26 assists. His game has shown steady improvement in the four years with the club, and we'll look forward to seeing him have a breakout year.
During the lockout, Vasicek returned to his native Czech Republic, where he played alongside Ziggy Palffy on Slavia Praha HC of the Czech Extraleague. Vasicek scored 20 goals to Palffy's 21.
This is important that he signed a two year deal for a number of reasons. One, obviously, is that we make a commitment to him. Second, we'll avoid arbitration (which he would be eligible for following this season).

I really like Vasicek. He works really hard and finds a way to be in the right place at the right time. Of his 19 goals in 03-04, 5 were game-winners, making him tied for eighth best in the league among centers in that category. He also demonstrates a lot of hockey smarts and is able to stay focused in key situations. During the 2002 run to the Stanley Cup Finals, he showed a lot of poise under pressure, scoring a key game-winner versus New Jersey in game 4 of the first round. He's got pretty decent defensive skills, too.

I think, actually, that the Canes are done. I wouldn't expect any more signings outside of obvious Lowell-filling ones. I wouldn't be surprised if there's maybe a trade somewhere, but nothing of significant impact.

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