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August 19, 2013 | 11:25am ET
Hurricanes still talking to free agents

The Carolina Hurricanes are still in contract discussions with some unrestricted free agents, but it's unclear which direction they will go.

The Canes have been in talks with several free agents this summer, most notably defenseman Ron Hainsey.

In a Monday morning interview with beat reporter Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford confirmed that he was still having conversations with "a couple" free agents.

With roughly $4.885 million in available salary cap space, as per, the Hurricanes do not have a lot of room to add too many players to the roster.

Rutherford confirmed to Alexander that the team was close to re-signing restricted free agent forward Zach Boychuk, and the Hurricanes were also trying to sign undrafted free agent prospect Sergey Tolchinsky.

In order to sign Hainsey, though, it's believed the Hurricanes must complete a trade and shed some salary.

On July 10, Rutherford told 99.9 The Fan, Raleigh's ESPN affiliate, he was in talks with a "big name free agent," but needed to create space on the roster to add him.

"There's one guy that has said he will take less on a one-year contract to come to us, because he likes our team and he'd like to play here," Rutherford said, at the time. "I've been continuing to work on ways to do that.

"We're going to have to move a player out before we're able to add a player, and at this point in time I haven't been able to do it, but the player is still waiting patiently."

With training camps set to begin Sept. 11, Rutherford has time to make a move, if he so chooses.

Hainsey, center Mikhail Grabovski, right wing Damien Brunner, defenseman Ryan Whitney and left wing Brenden Morrow are among the top free agents still unsigned.

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