Today, we covered how Vincent Trocheck told reporters that he felt he had “unfinished business” with the Carolina Hurricanes and was open to a return to the team for next season. Trocheck will be an unrestricted free agent when the market opens next month and will likely have a variety of choices for where he wants to play next season. According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Hurricanes are indeed one of those options but may not be Trocheck’s most financially beneficial one. Friedman reported that he “heard there was an offer” to extend Trocheck, but that it “didn’t get done.” Friedman notes that the Hurricanes’ front office often holds a clear view of what a player’s value is and doesn’t typically deviate from that, raising the question of whether the Hurricanes will up their reported offer to make it lucrative enough for Trocheck to accept.
Trocheck, 28, looks set to enter the free agent market in a generally favorable position. He is coming off of a strong playoff run where he posted 10 points in 14 games, and had a two-season stretch where he posted 94 points in 128 games. Top-six centerman are always in demand in free agency, and with Jordan Staal, Sebastian Aho, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi all under contract for next season, it could require some creativity for the Hurricanes to retain Trocheck. With the Hurricanes’ focus now squarely on their offseason, the team will have to make a decision on whether they are willing to raise this reported offer to Trocheck to keep him away from the open market.
Now, for some other notes from across the world of hockey:
- Micheal Ferland hasn’t played hockey since early in the 2019-20 season, and some have wondered if his health is at a place where he could potentially return to the Canucks lineup. Ferland was a solid player when he last was an NHL regular, having hit the 40-point mark in his last two seasons. Despite that success the last time he played, it seems a return won’t be happening. Per Ferland’s agent, Jason Davidson, as relayed by CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal, Ferland “has no desire to return to the game of hockey” and is focused on his personal health as “priority number one.” Ferland has dealt with concussion issues and it’s entirely reasonable for him to prioritize his long-term health over a potential return to the ice. The Canucks are on the hook for a $3.5MM cap hit on his contract for next season, but just as they have done in the past it is expected that they will utilize long-term injured reserve for his deal, barring a trade similar to the Bryan Little swap from this past trade deadline.
- Former NHL-er T.J. Brennan has been out of the NHL for even longer than Ferland, having last hit NHL ice in the 2015-16 season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brennan turned in one of the best seasons of his career this past year, scoring 47 points in 48 games for Salzburg in Austria’s ICE Hockey League. It was announced today that Brennan will leave EC Red Bull Salzburg to pursue opportunities in Switzerland. At 33 years old, an NHL return for Brennan seems like a long shot. But perhaps success in Switzerland next year can be a springboard to returning to the NHL in a similar way to how success in the KHL got Chris Wideman (another early-thirties offensive defenseman) back on an NHL roster.