A lot has been said about the Hurricanes Offseason so far. I went in hoping to resign LaRose and Ruutu, adding a second scoring option or playmaker, and finding a solid, young defenseman to hopefully build around. Many things have been done; some I like, some I don't, and some I will settle for. There is a reason JR is one of the best GM's in the game, so while I don't agree with all of his moves, this is my team and I will be supporting them wholeheartedly.
Jussi Jokinen - This was a great way to start off. He signed for less money and gives us a possible 3rd line center that can move around and contribute on special teams.
Erik Cole - I think we overpaid for Cole. I think he is more deserving of $2.5 mil or lower. I really think he is more of a 3rd line banger than what we use him for, but he did spark this team at the trade deadline. I wanted to keep him, but at a lower cost.
Chad LaRose - I think Chad's deal is pretty fair. I would have like to see 3 years at a little less, but I think it is market value. I see Chad as a real leader of this team, a David vs Goliath guy. I wouldn't be suprised if he one day wears an 'A.'
Tom Kostopoulos - I wasn't too excited about this deal, but after looking at it, it seems to be a pretty good move. He's a 4th liner (that makes 4th line money) and could possibly contribute on the 3rd line or PK situations.
Andrew Alberts - This move seems to me more for the following year than this upcoming season. He's a 3rd pairing guy (at a decent price), to replace Wallin after the season is over. I was hoping to see one of the kids playing on the 3rd pairing this year.
Tuomo Ruutu - I really like Ruutu and I'm glad to see him here for the next 3 years. I do think we overpaid a little bit. It's probably fair market value, but I would have liked to see his cap number around $3.25 mil. I really hope he improves on his numbers from last year (he was solid, but I would like to see more) and doesn't suffer any major injuries.
Aaron Ward - He is an solid defenseman, but I was looking for someone younger that we could build around. I like that we got rid of Eaves salary (we basically picked up Ward for a 4th rounder). It's a nice move, but again sort of limits us on gettings the Rats some experience for the following year. I really would have liked to see either Alberts signed or Ward or a young up and comer (my dream would be Coburn), but not both Alberts and Ward.
Babchuk & Kaberle - I'm not of big fan of either. I think the Babchuk thing hasn't been handled very good, but you reap what you sew. I hope we can get something for him. Because of our cap number this year, I think we have to buy out Kaberle to give ourselves a little room.
While this didn't happen this offseason, it did go into effect; Eric Staal's monster deal. I am a huge Staal fan and think he is one of the top players in the game. With that being said, I think he is worth around $7 to $7.5 mil (cap hit number). I am hoping that his big salary doesn't hurt this team, especially with the salary cap probably going down.
In all, it has been an interesting offseason. I expect the Canes to be competitive this season and really think we have a chance to win the Southeast.