Michal Jordan

Will Carolina fill defensive openings on UFA, trade markets?

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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.

‘Canes re-sign Jordan to one-year, $625,000 contract

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The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed defenseman Michal Jordan to a one-year contract worth $625,000.

“Michal took great strides last season, and continued that progress when he represented his home country (Czech Republic) as it hosted the World Championship,” said GM Ron Francis in a release. “He’s still a young defenseman, and we expect him to continue to improve going forward.”

Jordan, 24, played 38 games for the ‘Canes in 2014-15, scoring twice with four assists while averaging 15:57 of ice time.

He was a pending restricted free agent.

Jagr to play at World Championship

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Jaromir Jagr will play for the Czech Republic at next month’s World Hockey Championship.

It was nearly a year ago that Jagr announced his retirement from international competition.

The 43-year-old played in 77 NHL games this season with the New Jersey Devils and Flordia Panthers scoring 17 goals and 47 points.

Jagr signed a one-year extension with the Panthers two weeks ago.

Joining Jagr on the Czech national team will be Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda and Canes’ blue liner Michal Jordan.

Winnipeg Jets’ goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will also represent the Czech Republic at the tournament, which runs through May 17.

‘Canes recall ’11 first-rounder Murphy from OHL Kitchener

With a rash of injuries on defense, the Carolina Hurricanes have reportedly recalled the 12th overall pick from 2011, Ryan Murphy, from his junior team in Ontario.

Kitchener Rangers head coach/GM Steve Spott confirmed the move.

Carolina recently placed defensemen Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen on injured reserve and are currently rolling with a blueline comprised of Jay Harrison, Justin Faulk, Jamie McBain, Joe Corvo, Michal Jordan and Bobby Sanguinetti.

So, no better time than to give Murphy a ring.

The 19-year-old was one of the most highly-touted prospects in the coveted defensive class of ’11. Other blueline draftees form that year include New Jersey’s Adam Larsson, Boston’s Dougie Hamilton, Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin and Dallas’ Jamie Oleksiak.

The Kitchener standout actually made the ‘Canes out of his first NHL training camp in 2011, but failed to appear in a game before Carolina re-assigned him to the OHL.

From there, Murphy suffered a serious concussion while playing for the Rangers, but recovered sufficiently enough to be named Kitchener’s captain in September.

He was later named to Team Canada for the 2013 World Junior tournament.