Tag: Jeff Skinner

Justin Faulk

Will Carolina fill defensive openings on UFA, trade markets?


The Carolina Hurricanes have just four defensemen signed with at least 100 games worth of NHL experience. That makes their blueline a major question mark going into training camp, but even as we near the end of July, there are still plenty of options out there for teams looking to bolster their defense.

For example, Christian Ehrhoff and Cody Franson are both still available on the open market. There’s also presumably cheaper options out there like Andrej Meszaros and Jan Hejda.

“There’s been some dialogue with some guys, but we’re still sitting and waiting to see where the numbers go,” Hurricanes GM Ron Francis told the News & Observer. “The guys we’ve talked about are not in a range we’d be comfortable with yet, so we’re keeping an eye on it. I’m not in a hurry to jump in.”

Francis added that as more arbitration eligible players either get judgments or otherwise sign, more players might be made available. Additionally, Jeff Skinner is still reportedly on the block, so Carolina might end up making a more substantial trade before the summer is done.

All that being said, Francis sees some appeal in maintaining the status quo.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to have a spot open going into camp,” Francis said. “It sends a good message to our younger guys.”

With James Wisniewski, Justin Faulk, John-Michael Liles, and Ron Hainsey all presumably locks to make the roster, that would leave 2015 fifth overall pick Noah Hanifin, Ryan Murphy, Danny Biega, Michal Jordan, Rasmus Rissanen, and Haydn Fleury to compete for the final three openings.

PHT Morning Skate: Departing John Scott jokingly takes jab at Sharks

John Scott

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Before John Scott officially becomes a free agent, he decided to jokingly call out his former San Jose Sharks’ teammates. (CSN Bay Area)

With Jeff Skinner reportedly on the market, is there a chance that he’ll go to Pittsburgh? (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jack Eichel has something in common with Indiana Jones. (Puck Daddy)

Dylan Strome talks about the nerves that come with draft day. (NHL.com)

The Boston Bruins recent draft history has been less than stellar. (Boston Herald)

Here are 10 players that might mess with people’s draft predictions. (The Hockey Writers)

Pekka Rinne has a new Mad Max inspired mask (Instagram)

Report: Canes shopping Skinner, working on extensions for Eric Staal and Cam Ward

Jeff Skinner

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Carolina Hurricanes have made it known that forward Jeff Skinner is available.

Skinner is set to enter the third year of his six-year, $34.35 million deal next season. He does have a no-trade clause in his contract, but it does not activate until the 2017-18 season.

The 23-year-old, who has battled concussion issues, scored 18 goals and 13 assists in 77 games last season. His deal carries a cap hit of $5.725 million.

Meanwhile Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports that Canes GM Ron Francis is in the process of working on extensions for both Eric Staal and Cam Ward.

Francis told reporters on Thursday that both players have given him “every indication” they want to remain in Carolina.

Neither can sign extensions before July 1.

Both players are heading to the final year of their respective deals and will become unrestricted free agents next summer. Agent Rick Curran also represents both players.

Staal his heading into the final year of his seven-year, $57.75 million contract while Ward has one year remaining on his six-year, $37.8 million deal.

Alexander also reports that Carolina will part ways with pending unrestricted free agent defensemen Jack Hillen and Brett Bellemore.

Additionally, the Canes won’t re-sign forward Patrick Dwyer

According to Generalfanager.com, Francis has $13.95 million of cap space to work with heading into free agency.

The futures of four marquee Hurricanes players rest with one agent, one GM


There is an interesting dynamic brewing with the Carolina Hurricanes when it comes to four of their top players, including Eric and Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner and goalie Cam Ward.

All four are represented by the same agent in Rick Curran, and Carolina general manager Ron Francis will have some important decisions to make about the futures of all four players, most notably Eric Staal, who is entering the final year of his contract, which includes a no-trade clause.

From the Raleigh News & Observer:

Basically, every high-priced, popular, star player the Hurricanes might even consider trading as part of a rebuilding process has the same agent, and this summer brings a new kind of time pressure.

Both Eric Staal and Ward need to be either re-signed or traded, because their contracts are up after next season. Jordan Staal is signed to a long-term contract but came here to play with his brother and may not want to stay without him. Skinner has three years left on his contract but is one of the Hurricanes’ most marketable assets.

As the NHL Draft nears — it was only two weeks away, as of Friday — the speculation around the future of the elder Staal, the Hurricanes captain, could intensify. It’s worth noting that on Friday, it was reported that Francis is not seeking to trade Staal at this point.

Report: Big meeting coming regarding Eric Staal’s future in Carolina

Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers

Eric Staal has said – repeatedly – that he would prefer to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that an upcoming meeting between his agent Rick Curran and GM Ron Francis may determine the course of his (and really, the franchise’s) future.

There are some interesting facets to this situation, particularly these three factors:

Staal’s expiring, expensive contract

There’s no denying that Staal is an important piece for Carolina, but is he worth keeping around?

His $8.25 million cap hit is pricey enough, yet in the last season of his deal, his salary peaks at a whopping $9.5 million. That’s a lot of scratch for a guy who has scored 61 points or less the past three seasons (and isn’t particularly dominant defensively, either).

The good-and-bad news is that his contract expires after 2016-17. LeBrun believes that Carolina cannot afford to let him walk for nothing, so they’re at a fork in the road: either trade him or get an extension done at a discount.

No-trade clause

LeBrun reports that Staal may be amenable to waiving his no-trade clause under many circumstances, yet it’s just another thing that makes this a tricky situation for Francis.

Domino effect

Curran doesn’t just represent Eric Staal, he also is Jordan’s agent. Oh yeah, his client list also includes Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner. That accounts for almost $26.3 million of cap commitments for Carolina.

While Ward’s deal also expires after this coming season (was that a sigh of relief from Hurricanes fans?), Jordan Staal and Skinner have lengthy deals. Still, it’s more than reasonable to wonder if Jordan would want to stick with Carolina if his brother is gone.


As LeBrun notes, Curran wants to know what direction this franchise takes. Considering his client list, he has a lot of say in what happens, too.