Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.
Let’s get to it.
How many faces can we expect to not return next season? – @nhlcanesfans
The Hurricanes head in to the offseason with 17 players both with the team and in the system seeking new contracts: seven unrestricted free agents and 10 restricted free agents.
In late June, before the opening of free agency on July 1, the Hurricanes will extend qualifying offers to the restricted free agents they intend to re-sign; RFAs that don’t receive qualifying offers become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
It’s hard to pinpoint how many of those 17 players may or may not return, especially with unrestricted free agents who might want to explore their options even if the Hurricanes are interested or vice versa. That said, I’ll throw a number out for the sake of answering the question.
Of the seven UFAs, I’d say perhaps three return. Of the 10 RFAs, I think it’s reasonable to think that the Hurricanes could qualify half, with the other five then becoming UFAs. As always, I remind you that I am but your humble web producer and not a member of the decision-making team, so my estimates are by no means canon.
Our contract chart breaks everything down in a handy format, and keep your eyes peeled for this year’s edition of the offseason player tracker, which will likely debut at some point in June.
When will we see articles on the prospects the Canes might draft this year? – @powerplay53
Good and timely question.
It won’t be long from now. In the second week of June, we’ll begin profiling players that the Hurricanes could select with the fifth overall pick. We’ve got a list of seven prospects, including Noah Hanifin, Dylan Strome, Lawson Crouse, Mitch Marner and a few others, that you can expect to see analyzed and previewed on CarolinaHurricanes.com in the weeks leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27 in Florida.
Speaking of the Draft, CarolinaHurricanes.com will, as always, have you blanketed from start to finish: from player profiles prior, to live coverage in Sunrise on the web – both written and video – and social as the Draft happens, to analysis and player-by-player breakdowns afterward.
With next year being the 10th anniversary season of the Canes’ Cup run, what special things are being planned? – Section 328 (@Section_328)
Another timely question!
We’ve got a talented gaggle of marketing brains in this organization that is going to tackle that very question during the coming summer months. The 10-year anniversary of the Stanley Cup victory is certainly something the franchise will honor – the when and how of it just has to be brainstormed, proposed and hammered out.
Have something or someone you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments below.
Any big summer plans? Vacation maybe? – Ben B. (@Sormy_Canes)
For me, the best time to get away in the offseason is August. June is dedicated to the Draft and July features free agency and Prospects Development Camp. September ramps up with the annual NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., training camp and preseason. So August is pretty much the perfect summer month to vanish, and I’ve done just that the last two years.
Plans for this August area bit bigger: I’ll be tying the knot and honeymooning afterward. (So expect at least a week’s sabbatical for Tweetmail.)
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you enjoyed yesterday’s bit-of-a-departure blog post and would like to see more, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).