Friday, August 12, 2005

Finishing off the Hurricanes Roster

Colesy with a manly playoff beard
Oh, I'm a lumberjack and I'm Ok...
photo tsn.com
They way I figure, and including the signings of Justin Williams and Radim Vrbata, the 'Canes have around $18 mil in salary committed as of today. Word is Pete Karmanos wants to stay under $29 mil for the year. This gives JR around $11 mil to play with to fill several key holes. The most essential and thus difficult signees remaining will likely be Cole and Vasicek. Cole, who has a $1.1 mil offer on the table from the 'Canes has told the News and Observer's Luke DeCock that he is concerned about his role on this squad. I listened yesterday to a Kevyn Adams interview on the 850 The Buzz MP3 stream. His description of Cole's role and impact on that Team USA squad at the World Championships gives me the sense that Erik is starting to realize his emerging market value.

I see the same dynamic awaiting the Vasicek negotiations. Big Joe turned down a two year deal before the lockout last year and changed agents. Let's just hope he doesn't go "TO" on us. If you figure that Cole and Vasicek can be signed at around $1.5 to $1.75 mil per year, that leaves JR with around $7.5 mil to work with to fill out the roster. He's looking at bringing in Glen Wesley next week for less than $1 mil. That would leave around $7 mil to work with some combination of Ladd, Johnson (doubtful since he's committed to the maize and blue), Zigomanis, Boulerice, and St. Jacques. At a minimum, JR probably needs to sign two forwards and one blueliner. I can't see any of these guys making more than $1 mil each, so that leaves around $4 mil in wiggle room. At blog-time, the '05-'06 Hurricanes roster shakes out roughly as follows (guys in red are unsigned):

Forwards:
Stillman-Staal-Williams
Whitney-Vasicek-Vrbata
Cole-Brind 'Amour-Cullen
Forward-Adams-Forward

Defensemen:
Hedican-Tverdovsky
Kaberle - D'Man (probably Wes)
Commodore - Ward
Hutchinson - D'Man

Goal:
Gerber
Ward

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