The Carolina Hurricanes have been looking for help on defense and the New York Rangers have been trying to move out some salary. It makes sense then when Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that the two teams have discussed Brady Skjei. Darren Dreger of TSN tweets that a first-round pick is part of the talks, though both insiders point to cap issues for the Hurricanes as a potential impediment to a deal.
Skjei, 25, is under contract through the 2023-24 season and carries a $5.25MM cap hit, room that the Hurricanes don’t have after acquiring Vincent Trocheck earlier today. Skjei is also another left-handed shot, something the Hurricanes already have plenty of in Jaccob Slavin, Jake Gardiner, Joel Edmundson and Haydn Fleury, not to mention prospect Jake Bean. The team recently lost right-handers Brett Pesce and Dougie Hamilton to serious injuries, obviously making that side of the ice a little weaker for this season.
Still, adding a player like Skjei would give the team another legitimate top-four option as they try to get back to the playoffs this season. Even though his play has been inconsistent, the Rangers defenseman still has 23 points through 60 games and is logging more than 20 minutes a night.
After signing Chris Kreider to a major extension, it seems as though the Rangers are even more motivated to get rid of some salary. With the emergence of Adam Fox, Anthony DeAngelo and Ryan Lindgren, the Rangers could afford to move Skjei out of town and still have enough exciting pieces to build around on the back end.