The 2009-10 season was forward Patrick Dwyer's first chance to spend the majority of his year in the NHL. The 27-year-old forward brought a mix of speed, hustle and effort to the Hurricanes lineup, playing 58 games and logging more than 12 minutes of ice time a night. Heading into his sixth professional season, Dwyer is poised to battle for a full-time roster spot this upcoming campaign. But being on a two-way deal means Dwyer will again have to prove his worth to the Carolina front office and coaches to earn a position in the Canes lineup.
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The Good: As a third- and fourth-line player last year, Dwyer was not only a useful role player but contributed at times offensively. His seven goals and five assists aren't eye-popping, but serviceable for a player in his role (for example, Chad LaRose played 58 games in 2007-08 and managed 11 goals and 12 assists in 14 minutes of ice time). He's an all-effort, hustle player who is happy to do anything on the ice. Dwyer's versatility also makes him an intriguing option for Carolina because he can play wing and center. His 119:32 shorthanded minutes were fifth among Carolina forwards and third among returning players (only Tom Kostopoulos and Brandon Sutter had more). His 108 hits were fourth among Hurricanes forwards and he took just three minor penalties all season. He has been relatively injury-free during his career.
The Bad: Dwyer is undersized, and he will never be confused with Ray Whitney when it comes to skill. While he is a decent penalty killer, he was on the ice for 14 power play goals against, tied for sixth most on the team and tied for third-most among forwards. His versatility is a plus, but he struggled mightily in the faceoff circle (78 wins in 224 draws, 34.8 percent), making his viability as a center a huge question mark. Given his likely minimal upside, would Carolina be better served playing one of their young prospects?
The Money: Dwyer is in the second year of a two-year, two-way deal that pays him $500,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 in the AHL. He will be an unrestricted free agent following the season.