Once the 2022-23 NHL calendar year opens up at the start of free agency, many players on expiring contracts will be hoping to work out early extensions to stay with their current team. However, Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal told NHL.com’s Kurt Dusterberg that he won’t be among those looking to get an extension done:
I’m going to ride out this contract. Eleven years is a long time here, and it’s been special. I’m going to ride it out next year and hopefully finish with a bang and go from there.
The 33-year-old will play his eleventh season with the Hurricanes next season and has seen his production start to drop a bit in recent years although he still managed to put up 17 goals and 19 assists in 78 contests in 2021-22. One thing to consider is that Staal is unlikely to command the $6MM AAV that he’s making on his current deal which also lessens the need to get a deal done right away. He’ll enter next season in a similar role to the one he had this year as a two-way center and faceoff specialist.
More from Carolina:
- Martin Necas has been viewed as one of the building blocks for Carolina but Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer suggests that the team should look into trading the forward and bring in a winger with a more proven track record of production to replace him. Necas had 40 points in 78 games this season which was a step back from the 41 he had in just 53 contests in 2020-21; his point per game rate was the lowest of his three full professional campaigns. That said, the 23-year-old pending restricted free agent can play down the middle so if GM Don Waddell decides to put Necas in play, there should be considerable interest in him on the trade front.
- Defenseman Ethan Bear underwent minor foot surgery following their playoff elimination, notes Walt Ruff of the Hurricanes’ team website. While the 24-year-old was officially termed as a healthy scratch in the postseason, the fact he had a procedure immediately after suggests that wasn’t the case. It was a tough first year in Carolina for Bear who had just 14 points in 58 games while averaging barely 16 minutes a night, nearly three minutes below his career average. Between that, a $2.4MM qualifying offer, and salary arbitration eligibility, Bear should be considered as a non-tender candidate when offers are due early next month.