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Free Agent Spotlight: Is it Time for Patrick Eaves to Have Another Shot in Raleigh?

33-year-old Patrick Eaves hits the free agent market this off-season, but would the veteran presence bring more to the table than his first stint in Carolina?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Eaves carved out a niche role on the Anaheim Ducks after being traded from the Dallas Stars in a deadline deal. Prior to the rental trade, Eaves was enjoying somewhat of a renaissance season after a string of disappointing campaigns. Despite his age, Eaves put up 32 goals and 51 points this season between the two Western Conference teams. He enjoyed skating on Dallas’ top line alongside offensive powerhouses Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, and has established himself on the Ducks top line while healthy. Would Eaves’ strong net front presence and knack for finding the back of the net serve Raleigh well?

Tale of the Tape

  • Age: 33
  • 2016-17 season: 32 goals, 19 assists, 51 points
  • Career (OTT, CAR, DET, DAL, ANA): 120 goals, 107 assists, 227 points in 604 games
  • 2016-17 Advanced Stats: 51.0% Corsi for, 102.6 PDO, 61.5% zone starts, 53.8% goals for
  • 2016-17 Salary: $1,000,000

Contract ending: 1 year, $1 million, $1 million AAV, signed July 1, 2016 (UFA)

Making the Case

The Hurricanes could really use a winger like Patrick Eaves. Throughout this past season Eaves has shown toughness in front of the net and the ability to provide top line scoring on multiple teams. Eaves has set a new career high goals and points record at the age of 33; a feat virtually unheard of.

He served as an above average top six winger for the Dallas Stars, pairing nicely with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Perhaps what is most attractive about Eaves is his flexibility; he can play both left and right wing, allowing Peters more flexibility when putting the offensive lines in the blender. If Eaves were to end up in Raleigh, we could expect a solid two way winger with 20 goal potential who can serve top line minutes on either side of the ice.

Most importantly, Patrick has an incredible beard, one that challenges the newly acquired Scott Darling beard. We need this type of competition in the locker room.

On the Other Hand...

While Eaves has impressed the entire league in a renaissance year, he is still an unrestricted free agent at the age of 33. Furthermore, as mentioned, Eaves is coming off of a career year. This will drive his stock up significantly and he will most likely be looking for some term in his deal in order to get a few more healthy paychecks before he retires. Can we be sure of Eaves’ production into next season and beyond? Or will he be another bad contract down the road? Francis has proven in the past that he prefers to stay away from aging veterans looking for longer term in their final contracts, so Eaves’ second round in Carolina may not be all that likely.

The Final Verdict

There’s a few positives about Patrick Eaves; he is a veteran in the league who has shown he still has what it takes. Additionally, Eaves would be cheaper than bigger names that are hitting the free agent market this summer. However, Eaves is probably looking for term and money that Francis will not want to lock up in an aging veteran. The Hurricanes should probably look elsewhere for more proven top six talent.