May 16, 2018 | 2:25Pm ET
HURRICANES WANT TO ADDRESS GOALTENDING, OTHER AREAS OF TEAM
Scott Darling, goalie
The Carolina Hurricanes are planning on being extremely active this off-season, as they look to retool and improve their hockey club in hopes of making the playoffs in 2018-19.
Hurricanes President and GM Don Waddell confirmed the team’s desire to make moves in an interview with Steve Kouleas on “NHL Game Day” on NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM earlier on Wednesday and has spoken with clubs about a number of his team’s players.
“We know we need to make some change,” Waddell said. “We’re looking at all of those options, as we speak, to see which pieces make sense to move out, which ones we need to continue to build around.”
Waddell indicated that he’s spoken with teams about such players as forward Jeff Skinner and defenceman Justin Faulk, and confirmed he’s spoken with teams about “multiple (other) players” on his team.
One area the team plans on addressing this summer is its goaltending position.
Cam Ward, a pending unrestricted free agent, and Scott Darling, who has three-years left on his contract, split the duties in goal this past season, and that will not be the case next season.
“We all know we need to address our goaltending. It’s something that we know we need to be better at,” Waddell said.
“We know we can’t bring the same two guys back.”
Ward is the more likely of the two not to return, simply for the fact that he’s set to become a UFA on July 1. The 34-year-old has spent his entire career with the Hurricanes organization, but it seems like the writing is on the wall.
“We are in the market,” Waddell confirmed. “We’ve made it very clear to all the GMs I’ve talked to that we are going to try to address our goaltending, and if there’s a guy that makes sense for us out there, we certainly are going to look to make that move.”
The Hurricanes want to shake things up up-front, as well, and moving Faulk for scoring help, or swapping out Skinner for another stud forward, could be in the cards. Waddell acknowledged that with the second-overall pick, they’ll draft a player who could have an immediate impact on their current roster, which could help fill one void.
Waddell also admitted that the team might be willing to move the second-overall selection, but “the way it’s going right now,” the team plans on keeping it.
The Hurricanes have more than $27 million in available salary cap space for next season, and they’ll have more of it once the cap increases, as it’s expected to do. With raises due to pending restricted free agents Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Joakim Norstrom, Klas Dahlbeck and Trevor van Riemsdyk, the team still have plenty of room to add a few significant players to its roster.