For a very long time, I've been waiting for the day that Bret Hedican would announce his retirement. I might finally get my wish in the very very near future.
Last summer, everyone was under the impression that Hedican had a "player option" on his contract that could be exercised. Turns out, it was never up in the air, and Hurricanes fans let out a groan when it was officially announced that he would return to the Canes for the 2007-08 season. Now, his contract is up, and everyone hoped he would make a decision when the Canes were eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the season. However, his wife was involved with that "Dancing with the Stars" thing, and he needed to be with her.
Kristi won the DWTS championship and a really uncomely trophy, which will most likely be hidden in the couple's attic. Now Bret can make that decision that we've all been waiting for. Given that he's already said that the couple will move to California this summer, that's a pretty good indicator that he won't be playing for the Hurricanes. He'll either try the free agent waters or (more likely) retire.
The Hurricanes will have a lot of work to do to shore up the blue line this summer, and shedding Hedican's $2.432M salary will be a step in the right direction. Nic Wallin, Joe Corvo and Frantisek Kaberle are under contract. "Snuggles" Tanabe is under contract, but will probably never return from concussion-related issues. Glen Wesley is a RFA-to-be, and will wait till the last second to sign a one-year deal. Tim Gleason is a UFA-to-be, and simply MUST be re-signed. Dennis Seidenberg is also a UFA-to-be. I'll take him or leave him.
There's work to be done, and the sooner Hedican hangs up his skates, the sooner JR can formulate a game plan for working the free agent/trade market.
Congratulations to Kristi on winning that absurd competition!
My favorite memory of Kristi is from the 2002-03 season. Mid-way through the season, I "stole" some dude's girlfriend, and by virtue of doing so, I took his seat next to her at Hurricanes games. That was my first year in section 112. I kept noticing Kristi Yamaguchi over in section 113, several rows behind us. I never did figure out why a player's wife and an Olympic gold medalist had such a mediocre seat. Certainly a worse seat than mine. I never saw her at a game after that season.
I would imagine that Hedican and Jim Rutherford will get together some time this week and put us all out of our misery. It's been a nice run, but it's been time for him to retire for too long.
This is, by the way, the 1000th post at Red and Black Hockey
4 years ago