May 06 2009 06:49PM
UFA Options is a continuing series that gives a brief run-down of the unrestricted free agent market this summer, team-by-team. Our next team for consideration is the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes have the NHL rights to seven unrestricted free agents. There’s a plethora of fourth-liners, but some players of significance including a veteran defenseman (Dennis Seidenberg) and the player Wanye picked to be the Oilers’ hero this season (pictured above).
- Age is calculated based on how old the player will be during the 2009-10 season.
- QualComp/QualTeam are the Quality of Competition/Teammates rankings from Behind the Net; the number appearing is each player’s ranking by position (forward/defense) on his own team.
- Def/Off Faceoffs is a comparison of the total number of shifts starting in the defensive and offensive zones, courtesy of Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice. A positive number indicates starting more in the defensive zone, a negative number the opposite.
- All advanced statistics are courtesy of Behind the Net.
Vital Stats: 31 years old, 6’2”, 205lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 4,000,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 80GP – 18G – 24A – 42PTS, EV 2008-09 Contextual: 8th QualComp, 1st QualTeam, -19 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +1.5 Corsi/60, 1.82 EVPTS/60, 2.56 GFON/60, 2.56 GAON/60
Edmonton fans saw Erik Cole during one of his worst stretches in recent memory; the only reason his season statistics are even respectable was because of a nearly point-per-game run to close out the season after being traded to Carolina. Cole has value when he isn’t scoring; he’s a big, versatile player who can PK and draws penalties as well as anyone in the league. I expect that he’ll re-sign with Carolina and keep putting up decent numbers in the Southeast, breaking Wanye’s heart little bits at a time.
Vital Stats: 27 years old, 5’10”, 181lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 875,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 81GP – 19G – 12A – 31PTS, +6 2008-09 Contextual: 7th QualComp, 9th QualTeam, -63 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +4.3 Corsi/60, 1.47 EVPTS/60, 2.32 GFON/60, 2.26 GAON/60
Larose had a nice year, especially from a goal-scoring perspective. The undrafted ex-ECHL’er is probably due for a modest raise. He’s undersized (the official Carolina website lists him at 5’10”, but other sites say 5’8”) and this is his breakout season offensively, so there is some question as to whether he can repeat this performance.
Vital Stats:29 years old, 5’11”, 185lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 475,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 70GP – 5G – 7A – 12PTS, +2 2008-09 Contextual: 13th QualComp, 8th QualTeam, -23 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: -4.1 Corsi/60, 1.26 EVPTS/60, 1.67 GFON/60, 1.57 GAON/60
Ryan Bayda had his first full NHL season this year, and while he doesn’t add high-end scoring he does play a physical game. He had a funny year with the percentages – low on-ice shooting percentage, and very high on-ice save percentage, so he probably isn’t as low-event as the numbers make him seen. A fairly generic fourth-liner at this point.
Vital Stats:26 years old, 5’10”, 191lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 475,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 23GP – 1G – 1A – 2PTS, -2 2008-09 Contextual: 14th QualComp, 13th QualTeam, -4 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: -3.6 Corsi/60, 0.79 EVPTS/60, 1.98 GFON/60, 2.77 GAON/60
I was glad to see the Oilers draft pick return to North America; he had a decent season in the AHL and saw some NHL duty as well. Helminen turns 26 this summer and is one of the younger free agents out there; he may be of interest to any team looking for a reliable AHL veteran to play a reserve role. He does play a relatively well-rounded game.
Vital Stats: 32 years old, 6’2”, 210 lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 475,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 11GP – 2G – 0A – 2PTS, -1 2008-09 Contextual: 1st QualComp, 3rd QualTeam 2008-09 Advanced Stats: -25.5 Corsi/60, 2.55 EVPTS/60, 2.55 GFON/60, 5.09 GAON/60
Dan Lacouture raised the ire of Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford when he defected to the KHL midway through the season:
“It doesn’t seem right when a guy signs a contract and then a month later decides to leave… If a player goes in the offseason, when he doesn’t have a contract, whether they go that way or they come this way, it seems to be fair… Can you really trust a player, what he’s going to do, when he does that? You lose credibility.”
When in North America, Lacouture’s another garden-variety fourth-liner who plays a physical game. I imagine his NHL/AHL options are limited at this point.
Vital Stats: 29 years old, 6’1”, 188 lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 475,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 18GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS, -3 2008-09 Contextual: 15th QualComp, 14th QualTeam 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +15.6 Corsi/60, 0.84 EVPTS/60, 1.26 GFON/60, 2.52 GAON/60
Ryan had an excellent year in the AHL, scoring 25 goals in 40 games, but he got killed by the percentages at the NHL level, with a horrid on-ice save percentage and shooting percentage. He recorded 9 takeaways to only 2 giveaways, but trusting his NHL numbers would be foolish given that he played so few minutes. That said, as far as 4th-line fringe players go, Ryan’s definitely one worth checking out. Even if he doesn’t crack the NHL roster, he’s a goal-scorer in the AHL.
Vital Stats: 28 years old, 6’1”, 210 lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 1,200,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 70GP – 5G – 25A – 30PTS, -9 2008-09 Contextual: 3rd QualComp, 3rd QualTeam, +16 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: -0.2 Corsi/60, 0.89 PTS/60, 2.10 GFON/60, 2.36GAON/60
Dennis Seidenberg is an excellent second-pairing option; he’s a reliable veteran with some puck-moving ability and he plays a relatively physical game and blocks shots (leading the Hurricanes in the latter category). Injuries are a concern; he’s suffered at least one concussion and has had multiple leg and groin injuries at the NHL level.