On Wednesday, the Hurricanes announced that they have re-signed winger Sergei Samsonov to a three year deal valued at $7.6M. Next season, he will make $2.3, followed by $2.5M in 2009-10 and $2.8M in 2010-11. Last year, he made $3.525 between the Blackhawks and the Canes.
I'm pretty excited. He was an excellent waiver wire acquisition who snapped into place immediately. In 38 games with the Canes, he registered 32 (14/18) points. Only Eric Staal was more productive in that stretch.
The chemistry will be decidedly different in the fall. Rod Brind'Amour will presumably be recovered from knee surgery. Justin Viva Williams will be recovered from his knee surgery. Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney will be recovered from their ailments.
There is some apprehension about this deal from some of my peers, but I'll say that I like it. And I don't feel the need to qualify that with any conditions or caveats.
The cap hit of $2.53 is a damn good price to pay for a guy who won the Calder Award and who has shown the ability to perform at nearly a point a night. He has scored 70 or more points twice in his career, and even when you count the lean years, he still comes in at an average of .69 points a night for his career. His 32 points in 38 games translates to 69 points in a full season.
A lot of Caniacs think that it's urgent that the Hurricanes re-sign Tuomo Ruutu. I'm not one of those. If it doesn't happen, I won't be heartbroken. If it does, I won't be relieved or excited. Jeff "Alexander" Hamilton looks like the early favorite to be the odd man out come spring. With Brandon Sutter a likely candidate to join the big team, there just won't be enough room for everybody.
Chad LaRose will be re-signed, and I would bet that Patrick Eaves will.
If Hamilton, who is still under contract for one year, survives the summer without being traded, he will most likely find himself in Albany.
Carolina's next most important order of business will be to acquire some NHL-caliber defensemen. Bret Hedican will retire. Glen Wesley might also. No matter what, they're in desperate need of some help on the blue line.
Anyway, we're very glad to have Sergei on board as a full-time member of the Hurricanes family.
3 years ago