Conacher does have seven seasons of NHL experience but hasn’t suited up in the world’s top league since appearing in four games in 2019-20 for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now 33 years old, the 5-foot-9 Conacher is far removed from his breakout rookie season in 2012-13 when he recorded 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 47 games split between the Lightning and Ottawa Senators. He was never able to produce near that clip again in the NHL, and while he’s had some successful stints in the minors and overseas, he simply hasn’t been able to translate his strong AHL numbers to the show.
He’s unlikely to unseat anyone for a spot on the Hurricanes’ full-time roster, but he is looking to land an NHL contract in the hopes of earning a call-up at some point throughout the season and playing an impactful depth role, much like Mackenzie MacEachern and Stefan Noesen have done for the ’Canes in recent memory. There is a significant complicating factor here, however. Both Conacher and Perlini are already under AHL contract next season with the Chicago Wolves, the Hurricanes’ former affiliate who’s opted to operate independently in 2023-24. Wolves general manager Wendell Young has stated publically that the Wolves aren’t likely to accept any players from the Hurricanes on loan after their affiliation agreement lapsed, meaning signing an NHL deal would force Conacher and Perlini to play where the Hurricanes can find a home for them with another AHL squad on loan.
Conacher has put up 75 points in 193 career NHL games and 340 points in 371 career AHL games since turning pro in 2011. He played just 17 games last season with the Belleville Senators and Charlotte Checkers, recording four goals and ten points.
Perlini does have more NHL experience under his belt at 262 games but has suited up in just five seasons, as the 2014 12th overall pick of the Arizona Coyotes has fallen out of a full-time NHL role over the past few seasons. He spent the 2022-23 campaign with AHL Chicago without an NHL deal, playing alongside Hurricanes prospects and recording ten goals and 15 points in just 26 games due to injury. He last suited up in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers in 2021-22, averaging just 8:22 per game and recording four goals and one assist. It’s not the path most envisioned for Perlini after he opened his NHL career with double-digit goal totals in three straight seasons with the Coyotes and Blackhawks from 2017 to 2019.