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Carolina Hurricanes

Michael Bunting Signs Three-Year Deal with Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes attempt to strengthen their offense by adding Michael Bunting on a three-year deal.

The Carolina Hurricanes continue to load up after adding defenseman Dmitry Orlov, as they signed forward Michael Bunting to a three-year, $13.5 million deal.

Bunting seemed like he had a bright future with the Toronto Maple Leafs as he notched 46 goals, 66 assists, and 112 points in 161 games during his two-year tenure. His 63 points in 79 games in 2021-22 saw him winning the Calder Memorial Trophy for the league’s best rookie, and he was on a very team-friendly two-year, $1.9 million contract. He saw a dip in production this last season with only 49 points in 82 games but was still fifth-best on the team in scoring. The 27-year-old showed the offensive skill was there. Futhermore, getting to play consistently alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner certainly helped his production.

However, last season, he found himself in some trouble taking some needless penalties and even getting a three-game suspension in the playoffs for an illegal check to the head on Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak during Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He ended up seeing some healthy scratches and seemed to lose a steady role with the team throughout the regular season, as he went from a top-six role to a bottom-six role in hopes of trying to get him back to his first-year self.

The Hurricanes have needed scoring, which has been a big deficiency for them, especially in the playoffs. Bunting fits the bill and will likely fit in well with a group of Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jordan Staal, and more. He is also known for drawing penalties at his best as has a pesky, competitive side to his game. The Hurricanes’ unique blend of leadership and fast game style-pace led by head coach Rod Brind’Amour should help Bunting return to form and help the Hurricanes in a deep Metropolitan Division.

Next: Senators Secure Goaltending with Joonas Korpisalo’s 5-Year Deal



  1. gcmgome

    July 1, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    The only positive takeaway from the first day of free agency for the Leafs so far, is that they did not do anything that will contribute further to their cap woes going forward. The Ryan Reaves contract my have a bit more term than would be ideal for a 36 year old player but all except $200K of it can be buried in the AHL if necessary.
    Some of the Leafs’ unrestricted free agents from last season found new homes. Good for them and I wish them all good luck with their new clubs.
    This noticeable lack of activity from a club needing to add at least 5 skaters to fill out a full 23 man roster may be a bit confounding but we have to keep telling ourselves that it is still early.

  2. Chris

    July 1, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    Bunting was *nominated* for the Calder; Seider won it.

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