We're all hoping that at some point, preferably tomorrow morning, Bret Hedican announces his retirement. I'm sure he's a nice fella. He's a terrific skater and a consummate teammate, but he just isn't any good as a defenseman anymore. Sure, he's tops on the team in +/- rating, and he's way up there in blocked shots. Sure, he's up there in takeaways. Sure, he makes a dazzling play once in a while. However, he blows coverage a lot, lags behind plays, refuses to hit, and is a source of constant frustration. I've been ready for him to retire for a long time.
When he retires, the Canes will have just three defensemen under contract. Later on, I'll evaluate the forwards, but for now, I'll look at the defense.
Frantisek Kaberle is signed through 2010 and his cap hit will be $2.2M next season.
Nic Wallin is signed through 2010 and his cap hit will be $1.725 next season.
Joe Corvo is signed through 2010 and his cap hit will be $2.75 next season.
Hedican will retire.
Glen Wesley may retire, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit if he signed on for another year at $1.4M
For sure, I think we'll see Conboy and Gleason signed to extensions.
Although I like Seidenberg, I think he'll end up somewhere else.
The Canes will have to make at least one move for a defenseman in free agency. Even if Glen Wesley decides to stick around. I can't possibly speculate at this point, but I think the thing to do will be to get a defensive defenseman.
That's it for now. Later on, the forwards.