The Carolina Hurricanes are shopping for an experienced, physical, top four defenseman. But who? Jim Rutherford has indicated that the club's intent is to trade a forward, (or maybe more), for the needed player. There has been a lot of conjecture and postulating about who the new defenseman might be and who the Canes might offer up for his services.
Of course, Cory and I have our opinions about this as well:
Would Jim Rutherford bring back yet another Carolina alum for one more go-round with the Hurricanes? Of course he would. Everyone knows that the Carolina GM loves to bring back familiar faces to the organization if the situation warrants it. That time could be approaching once again. Here is a proposed deal that might make sense for both teams.
Aaron Ward, (one year at 2.5 million), to the Hurricanes for Patrick Eaves, (two years at 1.4 and 1.7 million) and a third or later round draft choice.
The deal makes sense for Boston because they have a serious salary cap problem, (presently 58 million?). They are probably losing a valuable forward in Phil Kessel and will need another body to take his place. Eaves has a pretty reasonable salary and might fit in well with the group. He has played with success at Boston College and would probably be an immediate hit with fans. The Canes throw in a draft pick because Eaves is slightly overpaid for his past results. The Bruins would get a serviceable player, a draft pick, and save some money.
The deal makes sense for the Canes because Aaron Ward brings a physical edge that the team needs. He played top four minutes with Boston last year down the stretch and did well. His contract, (2.5 million) would be close to what the team has allocated and it is only for one year, not tying the Canes down to a long term deal. He is familiar with the players and still lives in the area. Patty Eaves is expendable now that the team has signed Tom Kostopoulos.
GM Jim Rutherford has openly discussed the need to acquire a top-four defenseman whose physicality could complement Joni Pitkanen in a big-minute role. Players like this aren't easy to come by. Colorado and San Jose both have a glut of high-paid blueliners, some who match Carolina's needs. But if I were to slip into Rutherford's shoes for a day, it would be a different Western Conference team I'd have on my speed dial: the Calgary Flames.