The day is here. Today former Hurricanes player, captain and General Manager Ron Francis will build an NHL team from scratch.
Most interesting to me will be seeing how creative Francis is with a plethora of options to do some combination of building a team for 2021-22, collecting futures and leveraging a unique position. My gut feeling is that he will not be creative enough with some interesting options, but I am ready to be proven wrong.
Even more so than the Vegas draft, I think there are good opportunities to acquire some players with the intent of trading some of them later. Per previous comments, I think most interesting is the possibility to maybe draft a higher-end player or two who are overpriced a bit, discount them down to a better salary and then collect a good return on them.
From a Hurricanes standpoint, there continues to be a buzz around Dougie Hamilton. I am on record as believing it makes no sense to spend a selection on a player who could instead be signed as a free agent one week later. Given that the Hurricanes granted Hamilton the chance to talk to other teams, there is nothing to keep Seattle from hammering out a deal and signing it next week after selecting another Hurricanes player on Wednesday. One angle that could make sense is that by selecting Hamilton Seattle makes him feel more loved which is what makes him want to join the new team. Another angle is that by selecting him, Seattle would gain the ability to sign Hamilton to an eight-year deal whereas the maximum for a free agent signing is seven years. Given that his contract would likely be north of $8 million per year, it almost seems a tiny bit selfish to cost your new team an expansion selection, so you can net another year of $8 million. Finally, another angle that I have not heard mentioned yet concerns the salary cap requirements. Per expansion draft rules, Seattle is required to spend about $50 million on players taken in the draft. If Francis has a preference for many lower-price players, taking a higher cost player or two like Hamilton who are not bad contracts could help make the $50ish million target without taking on dead weight to do so.
Though rumblings suggest other possibilities, I am standing by my prediction that Jake Bean gets selected. Bean was a Francis draftee, and represents a nice combination of being an inexpensive third pairing defenseman who can quarterback a power play and is still young enough to potentially have upside from there.
This post will serve as a forum for discussion leading up to and during the expansion draft that starts at 8pm Eastern Time.
How do you think it ends for the Hurricanes?
Remember to click ‘vote’ for each individual poll.