On Friday morning, in following with the rumors, the Hurricanes re-signed defenseman Glen Wesley to a one year deal with a slight raise. Wesley uses the same agent as Cam Ward, and in yesterday's Ward deal, they set the table for the Wesley deal.
The 39 year-old defenseman will make $1.4M next year, which amounts to a 16% raise over the $1.2M he made in 2006-07. Last summer, after winning the Stanley Cup, Wesley surprised everyone by deciding to go another year. He ended up having a good year, finishing first on the team with a +11 rating and second on the team with 103 blocked shots. He's never been much of an offensive threat, but he managed 13 points (1/12) in 68 games.
Last week, Wesley indicated that he wanted to come back, if the Hurricanes would have him. Jim Rutherford said words to the effect of "As long as he wants to play, he will always have a place here".
With the signing, Carolina has eight defensemen under contract, ten forwards and two goalkeepers. Referring to the chart, Carolina has a "cap hit" total of $40.183M. The cap is expected to be $48M, but Jim Rutherford has set a budget of $45M. Carolina will need another center, another right wing (or two), and at least one other forward. All for under $5M.
I do not see Scott Walker in Carolina's future. I do see a trade involving a blueliner.
Carolina does have two additional players under contract, but they will both most likely be in Albany. Left wing Dave Gove and right wing Keith Aucoin each have two-way contracts which would pay $475K at the NHL level. Last season, Aucoin spent eight games on the Hurricanes roster. He worked hard, but amassed just one assist. Gove played one game with Carolina and did not tally any offensive stats. Both players also fall into that "waterbug" category, as they both stand 5'10" and weigh about 185. Of course Ray Whitney falls into this category, but he is much more talented than these guys.
Don't expect any more action from the Hurricanes until the first day of free agency. Perhaps we'll see a draft-day trade where the Canes give a defenseman and a second round pick for a right wing. Don't quote me on that, though.
4 years ago