Saturday, July 02, 2016
Carolina Adds Stempniak
I am not sure I would have had Carolina pegged as a team that would have gone out to get a top 10 pool worthy unrestricted free agent, but they were able to snag Lee Stempniak from the open market, likely because they had a bit more cap space to play with and a whole bunch of roster spots that could translate into minutes.
Stempniak, 33, signed a 2-year, $5 million deal with the lowly Hurricanes on Friday, bringing his grit and talent to a team that needed to spend more money, just to make the cap floor.
Carolina is curiously putting together quite the blue collar team, which should have a bit of offensive flair for flavouring mixed in. Jordan Staal, Jay McClement and Bryan Bickell will really be your lunch pail guys on this team, while the Jeff Skinner, Elias Lindholm and Teuvo Teravainen type players will try and give this team a lift. Let's not forget, the Hurricanes have put together a very impressive blueline so far as well, so they could still end up being a bit of an ugly duckling in the Atlantic Division next season.
Stempniak scored 19 goals and 51 points last season, playing in all 82 games for the Devils and I would say that this Carolina team may be put together a little bit better than New Jersey of last season, so his numbers could improve, if not just stay the same. I don't see any decrease here for next season.