After an impressive playoff run that has Carolina looking like an improved franchise, the Hurricanes don’t want it to be a fluke season. The team, which based much of its success on an impressive blueline, wants to commit to it long term. Therefore despite being mentioned as a trade candidate for more than a full season, it looks like Carolina wants to commit long-term to Justin Faulk. The defenseman has one year remaining on his contract, but The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun (subscription required) reports that the team has reached out to Faulk and his agent in hopes of signing an extension when he’s eligible on July 1.
LeBrun adds that Faulk, who has played his entire eight-year career in Carolina, is amenable to an extension, although it’s likely he would demand a no-trade clause this time around. That would give Carolina three right-handed top-four defensemen in Faulk, Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce, but he says that the Hurricanes are OK with having that right depth on the right side and are comfortable keeping all three.
However, the Fourth Period reports that Carolina is looking to acquire a top-six winger to boost their offense this year and that the team is willing to trade one of their top defenseman to make that happen. The report suggests that Carolina is one of the teams that has inquired on Minnesota’s Jason Zucker and has spoken to Toronto about both William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen and Nazem Kadri in the past.
- The Athletic’s Allison Lukan (subscription required) reports that while the Columbus Blue Jackets have several options on how they want to sign restricted free agent Zach Werenski, it’s almost a lock that Columbus will attempt to sign him to a long-term deal. The 21-year-old blueliner just finished up his entry-level deal and is in line for a big payday after posting 38 goals and 128 points over three years, but with plenty of cap room and multiple free agents walking away from Columbus, locking him up to a long-term deal, which could exceed $6MM, is likely going to be the team’s goal.
- Sticking with the Blue Jackets, the team has another restricted free agent who is expected to get a raise this summer. Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch writes that defenseman Scott Harrington, who has had trouble catching on to an NHL team early in his career after playing just 79 NHL games over the past four seasons with three different teams, has found a home in Columbus. The 26-year-old played his first full season, playing 73 games, mostly as a bottom-six defenseman, but was instrumental to the Blue Jackets as a character leader in the locker room. After making just $675K last season, Harrington could potentially double his salary for next season.
- The Athletic’s Corey Masisak (subscription required) lays out the possibilities on what the New Jersey Devils can do with their second-round pick (No. 34). With three second-round picks, the 34th pick is a valuable asset that could allow the team to trade into the first round or use to trade for a significant impact player to bolster its team. The scribe looks at past teams in similar positions, including a 2013 trade in which the Buffalo Sabres traded several players and the No. 31 pick for Ryan O’Reilly.