So far this offseason, we Caniacs have been treated to a couple of juicy rumors. We have heard that the Canes are expected to make pitches to Zach Parise & Ryan Suter and we also have heard that the Canes could be interested in acquiring Jordan Staal. Even JR has publicly said that the Canes are in the market for a top-tier player and Peter Karmanos has given the ok to spend some money for the "right" player. But the Canes currently have 11 forwards, 6 defenseman, and 2 goalies under 1-way contracts for next season. We also have 2 or 3 forward and 2 or 3 defensive prospects that might be on the cusp of becoming full-time NHLers and this doesn't even include any draftee that may come in ready to compete for a roster spot. So given all of these things, it seems likely that 1 or more of our current players/prospects may have a new address next season.
So the question is; which current Cane player/prospect will be on the move this summer? And if they are moved, where do they end up and what do we get back in return? For all of the potential exciting news that comes with acquiring a new player, also comes the sad news that a player we have supported we will be wearing a different sweater next season. After the jump, I will list a couple of players that could be moved this offseason and why. Let me know who you think is the most likely to leave the organization and where they may end up..
Zach Boychuk - The former 1st round pick that was destined to take Ray Whitney's place has yet to live up to expectations. You could even say that each year his light was gotten dimmer & dimmer. He went from player in 31 games in 09/10, producing 3 goals & 6 assists to 16 games in 11/12, producing only 2 assists. Even his AHL numbers took a dip from the 10/11 season. Boychuk has the skill to be a NHLer, but his work ethic or desire seem to be what is keeping him from reaching the top level. He is a RFA this summer and he might be one of those players that benefits from a change of scenery. His size and defensive abilities are two of his biggest questions, so he needs to find a home where those weaknesses are hid and his playmaking abilities are allowed to shine. I don't think the Canes let him go for nothing, but I don't expect them to get a whole lot in return either.
I suspect that Boychuk will probably be traded for a 4th round pick or part of some package deal as added "sweetener".
Jussi Jokinen - It would be tough for the Canes to give up Jussi because he really he a good player with versatility and is a person that everybody just loves. But if the Canes do end up trading for a top-tier player, Jussi could be part of the deal going back the other way. While his goal scoring has dropped the past 2 seasons, he's still an effective offensive player and has average more than 0.60 PPG during his career. And to that, he can play any forward position up & down the lineup and he has one affordable contract and teams would like the flexibility he offers. If Jussi is dealt this summer, it would have to be for quite a return as only Eric Staal has more points for the Canes over the past 3 seasons.
I suspect that Jussi remains a Hurricane unless someone like a Bobby Ryan comes available.
Derek Joslin - Joslin is a real interesting case for me. When he first came to Carolina, he was somewhat impressive and looked to be a player that could give us some toughness & offensive on the blueline. But last season, he started out by seeing very little ice time and when he did, he did not look all that good. He was switched to a 4th line forward by Muller, but I wouldn't say the experiment went as well as expected. He obviously wasn't good enough in practice to displace any other defender and with 2 or 3 prospects trying to make their case, does he really have a shot at being anything more than an injury fill-in? I know a lot of posters here like Joslin, but it just doesn't appear that he has a place on this team.
I suspect the Canes might try to trade him, but find no takers. I think he sits in the press box and is eventually put on waivers before being sent to Charlotte.
Jamie McBain - Surprising enough, McBain is the top point producing defenseman for the the Canes over the past 2 seasons. But while his offensive has been there, the defensive side & physicality from Jamie have not progressed as quickly as hoped. McBain is a RFA this summer and with prospects like Ryan Murphy, Bobby Sanguinetti, and Brian Dumoulin chomping at the chance to make the squad, McBain might become expendable. Puck-moving defensemen seem to be hot commodities in the NHL, so he might bring back a decent return and the Canes should have plenty of options to easily replace him. He's a good, young player, but the Hurricanes are in need of something different and McBain doesn't seem like the player that will produce that.
I suspect that McBain will be packaged with someone or something else for a pretty decent return, maybe a top 6 forward. If that doesn't materialize, I think McBain will be traded at the draft for a high 2nd Round Pick.
Anthony Stewart - I believe that Stewart is the most likely player not to be on this team come next season. While you could argue that Stewart produced pretty well for his limited ice time, but he never was able to gain much traction and become more than a 4th liner. He was signed to a 2 year contract with the opportunity to play in the top 9, but didn't come to camp in the best condition and was never able to recover. He doesn't really contribute on either special team and it doesn't appear good enough to take over a top 9 role with the Canes. He was placed on waivers at you point last season and he had no takers. With his escalating contract (typical of JR contracts), the Canes could save some money by buying out Stewart's remaining contract.
I suspect that the Canes will make another attempt to see if any other team wants Stewart, but will end up buying his contract out. I do believe that some NHL team will pick him up, but his NHL career is likely coming to an end unless he really blows the doors off next season.
So, these are the players that I think are the most likely to moved before next season. What do you think? Is there someone else that you feel is more likely to be moved? Please let me know.