Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has an attack plan for this offseason that has their sights set on bringing in a big name to play alongside Eric Staal and with a dearth of top line talent available via free agency, Rutherford says he has big ideas as he tells Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer.
“Based on my conversation with Mr. Karmanos, we’ve talked about a top-line player,” Rutherford said. “He agrees that that’s something we want to do. Not what we’ve done in the past with free agents, where we go to the second-tier free-agent group, or the third tier or the fourth tier, but a top-line player. If it’s available by free agency or trade, we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen this year.”
The Hurricanes have never been a team to break the bank in free agency, but after their aggressive moves to re-sign Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason, taking aim on Parise in free agency would be a huge step in proving they’re for real.
Of course, the Hurricanes might have to compete with every other team in the NHL for Parise and while Rutherford says they’ve got the cash to make it happen, not to mention the long-time affinity for Parise that goes back to when he was drafted, it won’t be easy to fight off high-profile teams for him should he become a free agent on July 1.
Talking big is one thing, pulling off something big is another thing entirely. Signing guys like Alexei Ponikarovsky (for example) after you’ve talked big about guys like Parise can really bum the fans out.