It’s Day Two of unrestricted free agency, which for the Hurricanes may actually be a bit more interesting than the first.
Carolina was able to get Erik Cole back in the fold, which saves them a lot of trouble going forward in terms of trying to find a replacement. Given the Canes’ budget, wingers capable of playing on the first line with Eric Staal
wouldn’t have been easy to find on the open market or via trade. Getting a known commodity at a good price is a good thing.
The situation with Chad LaRose is much trickier. Despite discussions that started at the end of the season and continued all the way through the initial free agent period, talks have apparently remained at a standstill. The Canes claim they have other targets, and LaRose seems to have other suitors.
If that’s true and it’s not just a case of one side trying to bluff the other, I would expect the situation would be resolved rather quickly today. If they still can’t come to an agreement, both sides have other directions in which to turn. So what’s to stop them from doing so?
The difficulty of these negotiations has been very surprising. At the end of the season, it seemed as though it would only be a matter of days before LaRose had a new contract given the history between the organization and the player. The fact that they continue to talk to each other rather than run with other options suggests that the mutual interest is still there, despite how roughly things have progressed.
So, what happens next? That’s up to LaRose and the Hurricanes, but one would expect each side to have a new contract very soon, whether it’s with each other or someone else.