JR seems to be tweaking the roster a bit. The Joe Vasicek experience has moved on to Bubbavul' where the enigmatic Condor gets a fresh start with his new knee. Scott Walker brings that Randall Tex Cobb schnoz and a North American mean-streak any team would love to have (get the implication?). Not a ground-breaking deal, just a tweak to bring in a seasoned clubhouse enhancer with a a burning desire seize territory around his opponent's net. I'm guessing the Recchin' Ball is definitely out of the mix.
Shane Willis gets a return engagement. He hit his zenith as a Cane just prior to the time I started to pay attention to the club in '01. He might bring some Cullen-esqueness to the Hurricanes, if he can remember to keep his head up out on the ice. He'll probably be this year's Zigomanis.
Trevor Letowkski should be a nice bookend with the Adams Family on the fourth line. He's a solid grinder with slightly better hands than either of his future linemates. I think this is an upgrade for the Canes and not just a tweak.
Next on the agenda? With the departures of Weight, Cullen and Vasicek, the Hurricanes are now short a centerman. Guys in the arbitration mix who might be had might include:
- Scott Gomez wants lots of bling (over $5mil per season) out of arbitration. Lou's gonna be stuck if he get's anywhere near it. Might he be had in a sign and trade deal? Ex-Devil, Oleg Tverdovsky, and his $2.5 might look good in the right package.
- Mike Comrie, who spent some time in Wayner's dog house and who has an undercurrent rep as a backstabbing Cassanova could probably be had. Skills and baggage are a tempting but potentially dangerous combo (see: Bengals, Cincinnati).
- Danny Briere or Tim Connolly. Briere seemed at odds with Lindy Ruff during the Champagne Jam and might be the odd man out.