Jim Rutherford has two days left before his top free agents, Chad LaRose and Erik Cole, will enter the free agent marketplace. The Carolina Hurricanes general manager has mentioned on more than one occasion that he wants to bring both players back into the Carolina Hurricanes family, but obviously the parties are having trouble agreeing on the terms. While the Canes could still sign one or both of the players after the July 1st target date, it is unlikely that will happen because there is no way that Rutherford will enter into a bidding war to keep their services.
Both players are generating a bit of interest around the league. Chad LaRose's name has been brought up numerous times on various blogs as a productive player who could be signed at a reasonable price. While there seems to be less fan interest out there for Cole, he can still be a dangerous player and his physical nature is something several general managers crave. The magic question is, at what price?
While losing one of these players would be understandable considering the budget restraints as well as the unknown marketplace, losing both of them could be disastrous. Each of them bring positive intangibles into the dressing room as well as onto the ice. Both are extremely popular players with the fanbase. Could it come down to making a choice between the two?
LaRose gives you constant energy. He had a career year last year, excelled in the playoffs, and would be a cheaper option. His stock is certainly rising.
Cole brings a physical strength the Canes need on the forecheck, helps create space for Eric Staal which makes his game better, and has more experience. But even though his stock seems to be dropping because he may have lost a step or two, he would command more money than LaRose.
The time is getting near. Jim Rutherford might need to make a choice, step up to the plate and sign at least one of these guys, or possibly lose them both.
We have not had a newsstand recently because quite frankly, there has not been much team related news out and about to share. Even the News and Observer has been pretty quiet. But with all the activity that comes with the draft, there are some interesting stories to review. Here are a few we found:
News and Observer - Walkers Winning at Life, (Julie Walker cancer update)
Kennebec Journal - Hometown boy, Brian Dumoulin, gets drafted by Hurricanes
New England Hockey Journal - Carolina on his Mind
Finnish Hockey Draft Review - Another opinion about players from Finland
Guelph Mercury - Kennedy surprised to be picked by Canes