The Carolina Hurricanes have made some changes in their scouting department, promoting Robert Kron and Mike Dawson while hiring Cody Nickolet, Eric Fink and Oleg Smirnov. Kron will now serve as Director of European Scouting, while Dawson is now the Head North American Scout.
While adding top names from the WHL in Nickolet and Fink is important, Smirnov may actually be the most interesting hiring after working as an agent and for the players’ union in Russia for the past decade. The Hurricanes have just a single Russian on the NHL roster in Andrei Svechnikov, and he was selected second-overall after playing two years in North America. Perhaps adding another scout there will help the Hurricanes find even more hidden talent in the later rounds.
- After signing Micheal Ferland to a long-term deal yesterday, immediate speculation erupted about how the Vancouver Canucks were going to find playing time and cap space for their glut of forwards. The idea that came to everyone’s mind was a potential Loui Eriksson trade, a possibility that his agent admitted to on TSN radio. J.P. Barry explained that it “has gone past any kind of request” at this point and said that everyone—meaning Eriksson’s camp and GM Jim Benning—is looking for a solution. David Alter reported yesterday that Eriksson’s $4MM signing bonus is actually due on July 15th, meaning he becomes much less expensive ($9MM remaining over three years) after that date.
- Something to keep in mind over the next few weeks as the remaining unrestricted free agents wait for their next opportunity is that teams are only allowed to have 50 players under contract at anytime. Some teams are already quite close to that limit, including the Edmonton Oilers (48) and Dallas Stars (47). There is a little flexibility here because several young prospects will be heading back to their junior organizations and come off the books—Philip Broberg and Olivier Rodrigue in particular for Edmonton—but it is still a necessary consideration when speculating on where players will end up. Being too close to the limit could force a team to miss an opportunity at the end of training camp when teams place talented players on waivers.