With training camp only 2 weeks away (give or take a couple days), the Carolina Hurricanes might be in a bit of a hole when it comes to their blueline. Both Frantisek Kaberle and Bret Hedican are question marks coming towards the new season. Reports are saying that Kaberle has injured his knee in the Czech Republic and will undergo surgery to repair it, putting him out of the line-up for six weeks. Last season, Kaberle missed 55 games due to various injuries, which kept him from being a good pool pick. Bret Hedican on the other hand, has been considering retirement due to some chronic hip and back injuries, which caused him to miss 32 games last season. This could greatly harm the Hurricanes this season, not having two of their better defensemen, since they are lacking some depth at that position.
The Hurricanes may find themselves on the marketplace floor looking to give deals to Brent Sopel, David Tanabe and/or Danny Markov in the coming weeks. I'm sure GM Jim Rutherford hasn't hit the panic button just yet... but he might have his eye on it.
The Flames could be missing out on one of my pool worthy Restricted Free Agents as reports out this morning are suggesting that Mark Giordano has signed a 1-year deal in Russsia. Now, just because they have missed out on signing him for the year, it doesn't mean they're actually going to miss him... much. The acquistion of Cory Sarich and Adrian Aucoin should see the Flames deep enough in the Top 6 positions and with David Hale still in the mix, they do have a solid seven to keep them above water.
On Monday, Chris Kunitz signed a 4-year extension to his contract, that was to run out at the end of the coming season. Kunitz, with his new contract, probably thinks less of Penner moving to Edmonton, as it probably freed up all this new cash for him in the long run... especially if Penner becomes the guy that the Oilers think he will be. With some big money in his back pocket in the coming years, Kunitz will be relied upon to be that guy who puts some the numbers on a consistent basis and not the surprise breakout guy who is only making a young player maximum.
Also getting an extension on Monday, defenseman Brett Clark added two more seasons to his current deal, which was also to run out at the end of the season. Clark played in all 82 games last season, racked up 10 goals and 39 points and was a very popular selection on last season's pool sheet. It won't be any secret that the Avalanche will lean on him just a bit more this season as he's solidified the number two job on the Avs blueline. He should be another solid pick in this season's pool, probably both on the sheet and for the lucky team who picks him in the draft.
NHL, Hockey, Hockey Pool, Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche