The Carolina Hurricanes have reached a two-year extension with forward Jordan Martinook that will carry an annual average value of $2MM. Martinook was set to become a restricted free agent for the final time this summer, and was arbitration eligible. A two-year extension will buy out a year of unrestricted free agency for the 26-year old forward. GM Don Waddell released a statement explaining the signing:
Jordan has really fit in well with our group and provides veteran leadership both on and off the ice. He skates with a relentless energy that epitomizes the way Coach [Rod] Brind’Amour wants the Hurricanes to play.
Martinook came over to the Hurricanes last spring in a deal that saw Marcus Kruger go to the Arizona Coyotes, and has been an effective player for them this season. With 10 goals and 13 points in 50 games, he’s chipped in enough offense to remain in the lineup while providing a physical element to the bottom-six. He’s also been arguably the team’s best penalty killer, a role which he’ll likely hold throughout the next two seasons. Carolina looks like they’ll be losing a physical forward in Micheal Ferland if they cannot reach an extension over the next few weeks, making Martinook that much more valuable if Brind’Amour wants to continue playing that style.
Amazingly, the $2MM cap hit makes Martinook the fourth highest paid forward on the Hurricanes next season only behind Jordan Staal, Nino Niederreiter and Teuvo Teravainen. That’s bound to change once the team hands out extensions to some of their other pending restricted free agents, but shows just how different their group could look next season. With captain Justin Williams scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, the team needs to keep leaders like Martinook in the fold. $2MM per season brings very little risk along with it, given that the Hurricanes are not yet a cap ceiling team.