After agreeing to a deal with the arbitration-eligible Warren Foegele earlier this week, after reaching an agreement with arbitration-eligible Haydn Fleury last week, the Hurricanes’ 2020-21 roster is nearing completion.
The Hurricanes now have 22 of the 23 NHL roster spots filled with Foegele and Fleury now under contract, as well as the recent free agent signings of Jesper Fast, Drew Shore and Joakim Ryan.
With all that in mind, here’s a rundown of those 22 players and their 2020-21 cap hits:
Sebastian Aho — $8.454 million
Jordan Staal — $6 million
Teuvo Teravainen — $5.4 million
Nino Niederreiter — $5.25 million
Vincent Trochek — $4.75 million
Ryan Dzingel — $3.375 million
Warren Foegele — $2.15 million
Brock McGinn — $2.1 million
Jordan Martinook — $2 million
Jesper Fast — $2 million
Andrei Svechnikov — $925,000 (two-way)
Martin Necas — $863,333 (two-way)
Drew Shore — $700,000 (two-way)
Dougie Hamilton — $5.75 million
Jaccob Slavin — $5.3 million
Brady Skjei — $5.25 million
Jake Gardiner — $4.05 million
Brett Pesce — $4.025 million
Haydn Fleury — $1.3 million
Joakim Ryan — $700,000 (two-way)
James Reimer — $3.4 million
Petr Mrazek — $3.125 million
The Hurricanes roster is pretty much set, with 12 NHL-caliber forwards and a 13th man in Shore (as well as Morgan Geekie and others on two-way deals at the lower level), six defensemen with a seventh in Ryan, and two goaltenders.
As far as the salary cap goes, the Canes currently have $1,239,709 to work with, though CapFriendly projects that cap space to actually be just under $1 million.
The Canes don’t have the cap space to make any sort of substantial signing, though Don Waddell could bolster things with one more guy in the same way he did with Shore and Ryan.
If the Hurricanes really wanted to make a move on someone, there are a few possibilities on the roster right now that could be dealt to clear up some space. While a big chunk of Carolina’s roster is likely untouchable, especially in a trade designed just to clear cap space, there are a couple of players that theoretically could be moved to clear up that space.
The two forwards in that group that stand out are Niederreiter and Dzingel. Niederreiter has a cap hit of $5.25 million for the next two years, the sixth-highest hit on the team. Dzingel has just 2020-21 left on his deal taking up a cap hit of $3.375 million. On the blue line, Jake Gardiner and his $4.05 million cap hit seems like the only player the Canes would really even consider dealing.
While it’s probably pretty unlikely that any of those guys would actually get moved, and it’s also likely that the Canes are done in the free agent market, there’s always a chance that Waddell and company could get creative.
As it stands though, the Hurricanes have a fairly clear-cut 12 forwards, six defensemen and two goalies. That roster doesn’t necessarily need to be altered for the Canes to be competitive, with a ton of young talent in the forward corps to go along with a fantastic crew of blue liners.