Luke reported the other day that Scott Walker will be testing the free agency waters. JR may have offered him around $2 mil, but Spartacus wants to shop around a bit. Let's say he gets a better deal. That leaves a big hole at wing.
David Lee suggested the Canes go after Taylor Pyatt. Bloody great idea, but he's reportedly close to re-signing with the Nucks. I like the size, skating ability and bile a guy like Pyatt would bring. Scott Walker brings everything but youth and 21st century NHL physique.
Make me the GM for the next two months and I go find a way to land Ryan Smyth or Chris Drury. That's probably reason number 1,000 why I'm not the GM. I would be inclined to roll the dice with PK's money if I believed it would mean instant impact.
On Lord Stanley's Blog today, Luke teased the idea of Walker's departure possibly opening the door to the return of either Mark Recchi or Gary Roberts. I say oui Recchi, but nay to Roberts. Recchi finds a way generate a ton of points while avoiding season-ending collisions. Recchi was a fantastic addition to the Stanley Cup Champion Hurricanes squad. Roberts still treats every shift like it's the final Banzai charge on Okinawa.
Here are three affordable UFA's I'd be interested in seeing JR pursue. All but Jason Blake are less than adequate replacements for Walker's 51 points and gladiatorial presence, but they might be nice additions.
- Jason Blake - upgrade
- Viktor Kozlov - size and hands
- Scott Hartnell - size and bile
Slava Kozlov should probably be on the list, but my judgement is admittedly clouded by how much I detest the little weasel.
In other news
The Canes re-signed Cam Ward to a three year deal with escalating $$$ each year. Thus, the Canes are wedded to the boy for the foreseeable future. I think we have much to see on the development front from Cam. He makes a ton of saves and can be magic on some nights, but he still gives up a lot of softies. At least it's not a 15 year deal. Meanwhile, JR is giddy like a little schoolgirl:
"He’s our goalie," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We’ve
made it very clear by giving him the contract we did, but we tell him that