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No Time To Panic For Carolina

Bringing in a bad contract is worse than doing nothing at all

Ron Hainsey checks Matt Moulson in action last season
Ron Hainsey checks Matt Moulson in action last season

Now that the "worst case scenario" has come to fruition regarding Joni Pitkanen and the Carolina Hurricanes, the natural inclination would be that management should be on the phones 24/7, desperately searching for a minute munching defenseman to replace the Finn.

But slow down just a bit, Caniacs...not so fast.

It might do the Hurricanes more harm than good if they bring in the wrong player, at an over-priced contract.  As a matter of fact, a bad contract could hurt the team for years to come.

And you can believe that other teams know full well that the Hurricanes are in need and will be hoping to take advantage of a desperate trading partner, if the organization looks to make a trade.

Of course, there are a few free agents still on the market who have yet to sign with a team.  The Canes should be careful not to overpay in this regard as well.

There has been much conjecture around the league that Ron Hainsey has not been signed by anyone because of his outspoken nature during the lockout.  But, it could just be that Hainsey wants too long a period at too much money and is taking a hard stand.

He is a strong union guy, it would not be out of the question to imagine him taking a hard stand regarding his contract.

The defenseman played a lot of minutes for Winnipeg last season, but his numbers don't necessarily validate him getting a long term contract, which is what he might be holding out for.

He has not scored a goal in two seasons.

2012-13  47GP 0G 13A -8

2011-12  56GP 0G 10A +9

He is not necessarily physical, (36 hits last season and 33 the year before) but he does block a lot of shots, (123 and 133 respectively).  Hainsey might be a good pick up, but the question remains.  At what price and for how long?

The same goes for two other defensemen still on the market, Ryan Whitney and Tom Gilbert.

Whitney has good size at 6'4 and scored four goals with nine assists in 34 games last season.  But he has not played a full season in three years, (34 games last year, 51 the year before, and 35 previous to that).  He would be a high risk signing.

Gilbert is also still available.  In 43 games last season he had three goals and 10 assists but was -11.  The Minnesota Wild wanted to go in another direction, so he is another player who is not a slam dunk signing.

At the right contract length and price, any of these players might be worth the risk.  But none of them seem worth a long term deal, a deal that the Canes could end up having to give away draft picks later on, just to be rid of the contract.

It is easy to say, sign this guy or sign that guy, but we are not privy to the negotiations and what these players are demanding.

Speaking of free agents, Chad LaRose remains on the market as well.

It has been a tough offseason for many players.  Mason Raymond and Brad Boyes are both attending camps on a tryout basis.  Who would have thought that?  Both were productive players last season.

Daniel Cleary was offered the same in Philadelphia, but has not shown up yet.

With these vets still scrambling to find a team, it will not be easy for LaRose.