Carolina Hurricanes NHL 2022 free agent tracker for UFA, RFA


Carolina Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck (16) skates back to the bench after scoring on New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) during the second period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Saturday, May 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


The Carolina Hurricanes, after setting franchise records for wins and points in 2021-22, have major roster decisions to make in the offseason.

Among the unrestricted free agents: forwards Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter. Defenseman Tony DeAngelo and forward Martin Necas are among the restricted free agents.

NHL free agency begins July 13. The league announced Thursday the salary cap would be $82.5 million in 2022-23, an increase of $1 million from this season.

The News & Observer will keep track of the signings, additions and departures.

Unrestricted free agents


Vincent Trocheck

Age: 28.. Height: 5-10. Weight: 183. Shoots: Right.

2021-22: 81 games, 21 goals, 30 assists, 51 points, plus-21 plus/minus

2021-22 cap hit: $4.75 million.

The Canes were expecting more offensive production from their second-line center, but he did not come up lacking in effort, willingness to compete and combativeness as a 200-foot player. Also had 10 points in 14 playoff games.

Plus: One of four NHL players with at least 50 points and 180 hits, and led Canes forwards in blocked shots. Won 54.6% on draws. Plays with snarl to his game.

Minus: Often found in the middle of scrums, he had 78 penalty minutes, second to Andrei Svechnikov among the forwards.

Nino NIederreiter

Age: 29. Height: 6-2. Weight: 218. Shoots: Left.

2021-22: 75 games, 24 goals, 20 assists, 44 points, plus-29 plus/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $5.25 million.

Joined center Jordan Staal and right wing Jesper Fast in giving Canes their most consistent line. His 24 goals were one off his career-high and his plus-29 plus/minus rating a career best.

Plus: Has a physical presence in front of the net and on the forecheck, and had five game-winning goals this season. Of his 24 goals, 20 came at even strength.

Minus: His playoff production in four seasons with Canes has been negligible: 43 games, seven goals, 12 points.

Max Domi

Age: 27. Height: 5-10. Weight: 192. Shoots: Left.

2021-22 (with Canes): 19 games, two goals, five assists, seven points, plus-8 plus/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $5.3 million.

Traded to the Canes on March 21 from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three-team deal that included Florida, he had to play catchup in learning Canes systems. Became unexpected Game 7 hero against Bruins in first round of playoffs, with two goals and assist.

Plus: Versatile forward can be used up and down the lineup and plays with some toughness. Former Arizona first-round pick sees the ice well and can make some terrific passes.

Minus: His play was good at times, indifferent at times with the Canes. Could disappear in some games and Canes were hoping for more physical play.

Derek Stepan

Age: 31. Height: 5-11. Weight: 196. Shoots: Right.

2021-22: 58 games, 9 goals, 10 assists, 19 points. Even plus/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $1.35 million

The veteran, playing in his 12th season in the league on a one-year contract, got in 58 games for the Canes, usually as the fourth-line center. He served as mentor for such young players as Seth Jarvis and Steven Lorentz.

Plus: Low-maintenance player who does whatever he’s asked to do. Responsible in he defensive zone. Has played more than 900 regular-season and playoff games at age 31.

Minus: Canes signed him for his experience and savvy but used him in just three playoff games, all against Boston.


Ian Cole

Age: 33. Heigth: 6-1. Weight: 225. Shoots: Left.

2021-22: 75 games, 2 goals, 17 assists, 19 points, plus-15 plus/minus.

2021-22 Cap hit: $2.9 million.

A two-time Stanley Cup winner with Pittsburgh, he gave the Canes a solid third-pair D-man with experience and helped Carolina top the NHL in penalty killing. Was second on team in blocked shots (104) and fifth in hits (110).

Plus: Plays a physical brand of hockey. Was third on Canes in short-handed time per game (2:30). Had a game-winning goal in playoffs against Rangers.

Minus: Had a team-high 83 penalty minutes in regular season and several minors proved to be momentum-killers for the Canes.

Brendan Smith

Age: 33. Height: 6-2. Weight: 200. Shoots: Left

2021-22: 45 games, 4 goals, 4 assists, 8 points, plus-6 plus/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $800,000.

The Canes signed the free agent to a one-year contract last year and brought in a D-man who was tough, delivered some big hits and dropped the gloves when needed. Missed 10 games in late-February and early March after suffering a fractured skull when hit behind the ear by a shot.

Plus: A fearless type. Despite the injury, Smith did not change his game after his return and fought Washington bruiser Tom WIlson.

Minus: Has lost some speed through the years and appears to wear down in games.

Restricted free agents


Martin Necas

Age: 23. Height: 6-2, Weight: 189. Shoots: Right

2021-22: 78 games, 14 goals, 26 assists, 40 points, plus-5 plus-/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $863,333.

The Canes’ first-round draft pick in 2017, he has been used on the right wing in his three full NHL seasons. Was drafted as a center out of Czechia and wants a shot playing the middle, and Brind’Amour doesn’t seem totally against the idea

Plus: He’s still young and the kid can fly. Give him open ice and he can produce some spectacular plays.

Minus: Necas’ speed and skill is top rate but the expected production hasn’t been there. Non-factor in the 2022 playoffs (0 goals, 5 assists.).

*Steven Lorentz

Age: 26. Height: 6-3. Weight: 192. Shoots: Left

2021-22: 67 games, 8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points. Plus-1 plus/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $725,000

The former seventh-round draft pick has played 112 games in the past two seasons in a fourth-line role, with career-high 67 this year.

Plus: Uses his size well to be a physical and effective forechecker. An all-effort type, he had 67 hits and 24 takeaways while averaging 10:53 in ice time.

Minus: While creating his share of offensive chances, he needs to be a better finisher around the net.


*Tony DeAngelo

Age: 26. Height: 5-11. Weight: 180. Shoots: Right.

2021-22: 64 games, 10 goals, 41 assists, 51 points, plus-30 plus/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $1 million.

While a controversial free-agent signing, he delivered on the ice. Set Hurricanes records for assists and points in a season by a D-man. Second on the Canes in plus/minus while usually slotted with Jaccob Slavin on the top D pair.

Plus: His defensive play was better than anticipated. Slick passer who was second in power-play assists (18). Had “Gordie Howe hat trick” (goal, assist, fight) against Blackhawks early in season, first for a Canes player since 2011-12.

Minus: A combative type, he has a tendency to lose his poise and focus at times, particularly in road games.

*Ethan Bear

Age: 24. Height: 5-11. Weight: 197. Shoots: Right.

2021-22: 58 games, 5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points, Plus-1 plus/minus.

2021-22 cap hit: $2 million.

The Canes traded for Bear, sending forward Warren Foegele to Edmonton, and expected more from the right-shot D-man. Was paired with Jaccob Slavin and quarterbacked the second power-play unit in the season opener. Ice time and role diminished as season progressed.

Plus: Can add some offensive help from the back end and had two game-winning goals. Defensive zone work needs to be more consistent.

Minus: His play slipped noticeably after being sidelined for six games with COVID-19 in late November. Did not get in a playoff game.

* — arbitration eligible

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.