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Carolina Hurricanes

Offseason Questions: Hurricanes’ Brind’Amour, Necas, and Pesce

Offseason questions surround the Carolina Hurricanes, specifically regarding Rod Brind’Amour, Martin Necas, and Brett Pesce.

After being eliminated from the 2024 NHL Playoffs on Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes could be looking at some big offseason changes. The franchise is poised to be a focal point of the NHL offseason following their second-round playoff exit at the hands of the New York Rangers. The biggest storyline will be what happens with head coach Rod Brind’Amour, but there is also uncertainty surrounding the potential departure of several key unrestricted free agents (UFAs) by July 1.

Despite early reports indicating no close extensions for their 2024 UFAs, except for franchise center Sebastian Aho, who signed the richest contract in team history last July.

Brett Pesce Might Look Elsewhere This Summer

One significant UFA is defenseman Brett Pesce, whose season was cut short due to a lower-body injury in Game 2 of the first round against the New York Islanders. Pesce, a defensive stalwart for nearly a decade in Raleigh, might be signing in a different location and with a team willing to give him the money he’s seeking.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted on “32 Thoughts” podcast that the team’s previous contract offer of approximately five years at $5 million average annual value (AAV) didn’t appeal to Pesce. Last summer, the Hurricanes allowed Pesce to discuss extensions with other teams. With no signs of renegotiation, his future with the team is in doubt.

Pesce is coming off a challenging season. Nevertheless, his consistent track record as a top-tier two-way defenseman suggests he might secure a more lucrative deal elsewhere.

Martin Necas Might Not Be a Priority for Hurricanes

In addition to Pesce, forward Martin Nečas, a restricted free agent (RFA), could see his signing rights traded this summer. After a two-year, $6 million bridge deal, Nečas’s future may be determined after talks with Jake Guentzel take place.

Friedman indicated Carolina might not align with Nečas’s preferences and while the team wants to retain Guentzel, they may also prioritize a deal with Seth Jarvis, another RFA. Jarvis has surpassed Nečas in the depth chart and is seen as a more critical financial priority.

Nečas is eligible for salary arbitration, so he might be involved in a sign-and-trade deal. He recorded 24 goals and 53 points in 77 games, which was a drop from the previous year. He had nine points in 11 playoff games.

What Happens With Rod Brind’Amour

The big question in Carolina surrounds their head coach. Brind’Amour is said to prefer an extension in Carolina, but there will be teams with serious interest and even more serious offers. The Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, and Winnipeg Jets are all looking for a new coach. If it’s about the money, Brind’Amour may consider offers. If it’s not, he’ll likely stick with Carolina.

Next: J.T. Miller Scores Late, Canucks Take 3-2 Series Lead Over Oilers

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