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NHL Rumours: Carolina Hurricanes Extension Talks

It’s time for another edition of NHL Rumours. As the NHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching and all eyes are on personnel movement, many teams have contract extensions for important players affecting those decisions. Teams want to improve but don’t want to disrupt team chemistry. One of the teams with multiple contract extensions coming up is the focus of this round of NHL Rumours in the Carolina Hurricanes.

NHL Rumours

The Carolina Hurricanes

Rumour: David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period stated that everything is quiet for the Carolina Hurricanes as far as extension talks with their big upcoming UFAs in Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce and Teuvo Teravainen. They are expected to meet with Teravainen’s agent soon but it likely won’t change much.

Analysis: The subject of Carolina’s upcoming free agents after the 2023-24 season is nothing new. For a team looking to capture their second-ever Stanley Cup Championship, one big question that arises is if this current core group is the one to do it. If they don’t win it this season, it is going to be tough to keep everyone. The team will face hard decisions in the offseason. All three of these players will likely see pay raises unless they take a “hometown discount.”

In addition to the three UFAs above, Carolina has additional important UFAs this summer in Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen and Jalen Chatfield. And then not to mention they have RFAs in Martin Necas, Jack Drury and Seth Jarvis. Necas and Drury are arbitration-eligible but all three have played big roles for the Hurricanes this season. Nevertheless, Pagnotta provided that extension talks with each of Teravainen, Skjei and Pesce likely won’t amount to much until the offseason.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

It’s always tricky when you have key pieces needing new contracts after the season while trying to make a deep playoff run. On one hand, the team approaches the trade deadline with those players having the attitude of “win now, worry about the extension later.” Or maybe at worst, they treat them with an “own rental” mentality. But on the other hand, the team risks losing those players in the offseason for nothing. They also could use them to upgrade areas of need at the trade deadline.

Based on the sound of things, Carolina is likely approaching each of these players with the first train of thought in the paragraph above. And it isn’t a bad way to go. The team is set on defence. Skjei and Pesce have years of chemistry built that would be hard to replicate if one leaves. We previously looked at why the team should keep Pesce. Even though he has had a down season this year, he still is very effective taking tough matchups defensively. Also, maybe the team favours Skjei. Meanwhile, we saw at the beginning of the year especially how important Teravainen can be for offensive production. However, Teravainen is also very good defensively and on the penalty kill.

Ideally, the team can upgrade at the trade deadline without losing any of these. But sometimes, the team has to make hard decisions. And if there is a player available that Carolina feels is a big upgrade (maybe with term), a player like one of these having no extension in place may come into play. While they likely don’t want to move them, the UFA status is a factor that would weigh a little heavier on the “trade them” thought over other players. We shall see as the trade deadline draws near and even more rumours spark up.

Main Photo Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


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