The Carolina Hurricanes already have nine forwards signed for next season, (Staal, Staal, Semin, Skinner, Lindholm, Gerbe, McClement, Rask, and Malone), and two unsigned restricted free agent forwards who will most likely be back, (Nash and Nestrasil), so that does not leave a lot of room for change unless Ron Francis can get creative on the trade front.
There are a couple of pending free agents the organization has to make a decision on though, one of them being Patrick Dwyer.
Dwyer is a long-time Hurricane and has been with the team for seven seasons now, (since 2008-09). He was with the club's AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats, two years before that.
Most recently, he was signed to a two-year deal (900K per season) after posting career best numbers during the 2012-13 lock-out shortened season, ( 8 goals and 8 assists in 46 games). But since then, his offensive production has dropped off.
This past season, he posted 5 goals and 7 assists in 71 games and was scratched a couple times down the stretch.
But Dwyer is really not known for his offensive prowess and has been a mainstay on the team's penalty kill while sometimes showing outstanding speed, as he was primarily relegated to fourth line duty. He is not getting any younger though and Francis might use this opportunity to bring in a younger, bigger player.
The Carolina GM has mentioned more than once that he would like his team to be bigger. Dwyer is listed at 5'11, 175. He will be 32 next fall.
Under Bill Peters, the player saw his ice time slip from 14:39 a game in 2013-14, to an average of 12:46 this past season.
He's not necessarily known as a physical forward, but he was fourth on the team with 145 hits. His advanced stats on NHL.com are not good and he placed near the worst of the team. (SAT -135), (although McClement was worse and he was re-signed).
If you were Ron Francis, what would you do? Wait until July 1 and see who else is on the market or lock him up for another season, although at a lessor salary?