Updates on the Capitals and Hurricanes – May 17, 2011.

Do Jason Arnott and Matt Bradley have futures with the Washington Capitals? What’s the latest on the Carolina Hurricanes? Read on to find out.

WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera recently looked at the status of Capitals pending UFAs Jason Arnott and Matt Bradley, noting both would prefer to remain with the club, but that it’s possible management could opt to go for cheaper, affordable alternatives.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arnott’s leadership was a worthwhile addition and he’d probably accept a pay cut on a one-year deal to remain with the Capitals, but his lengthy injury history could have management looking elsewhere for experienced leadership. Bradley could end up hitting the market if the Capitals decide to invest in retaining Brooks Laich.

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke Decock recently reported Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford will be making his “state of the team” speech to the local media today. Chip Alexander meanwhile reports the club is also expected to announce Paul Maurice will remain as head coach next season. The club also has some difficult decisions to make regarding unrestricted free agents Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen, Chad LaRose, Cory Stillman, Pat Dwyer and Jay Harrison. It’s believed Pitkanen’s future with the club is in doubt as he could earn more than the $4.5 million he made this season on the open market, while it’s believed the Hurricanes will attempt to re-sign Cole before July 1st. The club could also announce a long-term extension for center Brandon Sutter, a restricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Maurice will return as he has one more season remaining on his current contract. Pitkanen won’t be back but Cole will as could Jokinen, whose career has found stability with the Hurricanes. They’d like to keep LaRose but that might not be possible given their payroll constraints. Stillman also could be a goner.

7 Comments

  1. I agree with you about Maurice and Pitkanen…but I think that Stillman wants to return and is going to take a huge paycut to remain on a one-year deal – I’m very confident a deal will get done to keep LaRose around too.

  2. It should be noted that whoever credited Luke with the article, it was actually Chip Alexander who did the leg-work.

  3. Cole is Mr. Carolina, it’s where he belongs.

  4. I really don’t see Pitkanen being worth 4.5 let alone more than that. He’s got talent and size but i can’t say he’s ever really impressed me with either of them and his injury history certainly doesn’t help things.

    Jokinen needs to be resigned for sure. He’s under-valued around the league, versatile, and money in the shoot-out.

  5. Cole’s as much a blessing to Carolina as Carolina is to Cole. It’s just too bad he only saw like one game of that cup run.

    I like Carolina’s barrel-in-the-zone attack. Makes them a different team to watch. Really really getting sick of dump and chase, down low cycle, zone pressure hockey.

  6. Jokinen’s stock would be up around the league – as much as they’d like to re-sign him, he could get more on the open market.

  7. Matt Bradley is from where I live currently. Talk around town is that he’s very interested in staying on with the Caps. So much so that he’d take a slight pay cut from his current salary of $1m. If the Caps walk due to financial restrictions, I would look for him to try to move to a contender who needs a gritty 3rd/4th liner or the wildcard is to see if the Sens are interested due to the area connection.

    I’d love to see who would pay $4.5m for Pitkanen since they would be grossly overpaying. It’s just too risky with his injury history. Safe bet for me would be in the $3m range and probably at 1-2 years.