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 Carolina Hurricanes and forward Chris Terry have agreed to a one-year, $875,000 contract extension, per the team’s website.
Terry had the option of becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer after completing his one-year, $600,000 deal for the 2014-15 campaign.
After recording at least 59 points in four straight campaigns in the AHL, Terry had 11 goals and 20 points in 57 contests with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. He logged 12:43 minutes per game, including an average of 1:11 minutes with the man advantage.
Patrick Dwyer, Jack Hillen, and Brett Bellemore are among the players within the Hurricanes’ organization that are still eligible to test the UFA waters this summer. Carolina also has restricted free agents to re-sign, including forwards Riley Nash and Andrej Nestrasil.
The race for the bottom is still on. While the Carolina Hurricanes heavily outshot the Buffalo Sabres tonight, they still suffered a 4-3 loss.
Sabres goaltender Anders Lindback had his hands full, but he managed to turn aside 49 of 52 shots, including 23 consecutive shots in the first period. After struggling mightily with Dallas earlier this season, Lindback has a .923 save percentage in 14 games with Buffalo.
The Sabres entered the first intermission with a 2-0 edge and they continued to build on their early momentum in the second. Tyler Ennis scored his 20th goal of the campaign to make it 4-0 with just 3:12 minutes remaining before the second intermission.
That proved to be critical as Carolina clawed its way back into this game thanks to goals from Patrick Dwyer, Alexander Semin, and Eric Staal. Ultimately, the Hurricanes ran out of time though.
Buffalo will still clinch 30th place before its next game if Arizona beats Calgary on Tuesday or Vancouver on Thursday. Otherwise, the Sabres will have to wait until Friday when they play against Columbus to get their next shot at securing the best odds of winning the draft lottery.
Why Anders Lindback may become one of ‘the most reviled Sabres ever’
Though Carolina has played well of late — 9-4-3 in its last 16 games — the team is still way out of a playoff spot and must make decisions on a number of key assets.
On Friday, GM Ron Francis provided insight to the direction he might take with them:
Not a huge surprise here. Earlier this week, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that Carolina had placed Andrej Sekera — a highly-coveted d-man — on the market, after Sekera and the ‘Canes failed to reach common ground on a contract extension. The 28-year-old rearguard, in the last of a four-year, $11 million deal, is reportedly looking for “Marc Staal money” in the neighborhood of $5.5M-$6M annually, which he could get on the open market this summer, meaning he’d probably be a rental for any acquiring team (and, therefore, the ‘Canes will probably be compensated accordingly.)
It’ll also be interesting to see what Francis does with winger Jiri Tlusty. A skill guy with a nose for goal — he’s scored 51 over his last 162 games — Tlusty, like Sekera, is a pending UFA that may or may not have a future in Carolina. Though he’s combined at times to form a dynamic scoring duo with captain Eric Staal, Tlusty has failed to replicate his success from the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign (38 points in 48 games) and could net Carolina a fairly good return in a trade.
Other players Francis could dangle prior to Mar. 2 include Jay McClement, Riley Nash, Tim Gleason and Patrick Dwyer, all of whom are up for new contracts at season’s end.
UPDATE: On cue, here’s TSN’s Bob McKenzie…
Elias Lindholm showed off his sweet hands in the shootout helping the Carolina Hurricanes edge the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Tuesday night.
Victor Rask also scored in the shootout while Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon were stopped by Anton Khudobin.
The Canes have now won two of three.
Jordan Staal scored his first of the season to open the scoring and Patrick Dwyer had the other Hurricanes regulation goal.
Khudobin made 28 saves to improve to 3-8-2.
Duchene and John Mitchell had the Avs’ regulation goals while Calvin Pickard made 44 saves in the loss.