With the run of transactions last week, I never commented on Valentin Zykov’s contract. In the time that has passed since, the Hurricanes have also re-signed Lucas Wallmark and Greg McKegg.

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe catches up on these contracts and discusses the team’s NHL contract status in general.


Valentin Zykov

Despite having only 12 games of NHL experience, Zykov parlayed a strong AHL season with 33 goals in 64 games and a strong 10-game audition at the NHL level into a two-year, one-way contract that pays $650,000 in 2018-19 and $700,000 in 2019-20. With limited NHL experience, the Hurricanes could maybe have pushed for a safer two-way contract with a higher AHL salary. Instead, the Hurricanes offered a one-way contract to get two years at pretty close to the league minimum. The deal also sees Zykov signing his next contract as a restricted free agent and significantly without arbitration rights.

The one-way deal increases the chance that Zykov will stay at the NHL and also provides a strong indication that that is what management expects.

My 2 cents: While there is some risk signing an unproven players to a two-year, one-way contract, there is also some risk mitigation in the other direction for the Hurricanes by locking Zykov into a bargain basement salary.


Lucas Wallmark

Coming off of a strong season in the AHL in 2017-18, Lucas Wallmark signed a two-year deal that is a two-way contract in the first year and a one-way contract in the second year.

Like Zykov, Wallmark has minimal NHL experience, but also like Zykov, Wallmark had a strong 2017-18 campaign at the AHL level. That strong season netted Wallmark a guaranteed NHL salary in the second year. He will earn $650,000 in 2018-19 and $700,000 in 2019-20.

My 2 cents: The one-way deal for year two has a similar risk/reward as Zykov’s contract. If Wallmark sticks at the NHL level, he will be a bargain salary-wise.


Gregg McKegg

McKegg hit the ground running and made immediate contributions to the Hurricanes’ success. Signing McKegg bolsters the forward group in Charlotte and in the process sends a message that success will be rewarded.

My 2 cents: The core of the Checkers roster is young, but there is always room for a quality AHL veteran or two to provide leadership and help the team win. McKegg earned his slot with his play after being acquired at the trade deadline.


Daniel Renouf

The Hurricanes also added a veteran AHL defenseman to help fill the roster spots on the blue line in Charlotte. I was a little surprised, that the Hurricanes did not re-sign any of Brenden Kichton, Jake Chelios or Phillip Samuelsson, or Dennis Robertson. As of right now, the team has only six AHL defensemen. With only Jake Bean and newly-signed Michael Fora added to the defensive corps, the Hurricanes will need to add another AHL defensman or two.

My 2 cents: I know only what I read on the other free agents, but at a basic level, Renouf is a replacement for one of the Charlotte veterans.


What say you Canes fans?

What do you think of price and term for Lucas Wallmark and Valentin Zykov and the one-way component in each contract?


Go Canes!



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