Yesterday, it was announced that the Hurricanes had re-signed Brock McGinn (who had been qualified on Monday) to a two-year, one-way contract averaging $887,500 per year.
The team also announced the re-signing of veteran AHL defenseman Philip Samuelsson to a one-year, two-way contract. Samuelsson was part of the veteran group that solidified the Checkers in the second half of the season and pushed the team up into the playoffs.
The signing of McGinn was mostly a formality with the only real questions being how many years and for how much money (though the salary range was pretty narrow too).
The contract: The price is right for McGinn to fill a fourth line role which lines up with the level that he played at in 2016-17. The two-year term gives the Hurricanes a little bit of potential upside if McGinn surges offensively and is then locked in for another year at a bargain price.
Though there is always some value in having players on two-way contracts, that was not reasonable nor would it it really buy much anyway for McGinn. After playing 57 games at the NHL level in 2016-17, he had a legitimate claim to a one-way deal. And with his experience level, he is not waivers exempt, so putting him on waivers to try to get him to Charlotte on an AHL contract would likely just be the equivalent of giving him away to a waivers claim anyway.
His role and upside: He was serviceable and incredibly consistent in terms of energy level but not able to contribute much offensively except for one impressive but short-lived scoring burst. He slots into a fourth line role and needs to find a much higher gear than his 16 points in 57 games to rise above the fourth line on a forward depth chart that is gradually improving. The potential upside for McGinn would be increasing his finishing and goal scoring such that his production starts to look more like a third-liner at a fourth line price.
The son of coach Ulf Samuelsson was acquired mid-season in a swap of veteran AHLers. Samuelsson along with others were part of a veteran group that played a large role in the Checkers’ late-season surge. At 25 years old, I see Samuelsson much more as a solid AHL veteran than an NHL prospect, but especially with two young goalies slotted for Charlotte next season, it is not surprising that Francis is keeping the veteran Checkers’ blue line mostly intact.
The two moves push the Hurricanes two 43 contracts. There is still room at the NHL roster has about enough on defense (7) and more than enough at goalie (3) but still needs three more forwards to reach 13. Di Giuseppe is almost 100 percent certain to be one of those three, but there is still room for an addition or two that could be an AHLer or prospect moving up and/or that one big addition from outside the organization via trade or free agency.
Di Giuseppe is a near certainty to be signed. Past that Francis still has a couple decisions to make on unrestricted free agent AHL veterans Brendan Woods and Danny Kristo at forward and Dennis Robertson on defense.
The rosters are slowly taking shape, but the highly anticipated move to add a top 6 forward still waits in the wings.