NHL Rumors: College and Russian Free Agents, and the Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Rumors: College and Russian Free Agents, and the Carolina Hurricanes

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Could the Carolina Hurricanes look at pending free agent goalie Scott Darling?
On College free agent Neal Pionk …

Elliotte Friedman: Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Neal Pionk will be leaving school and turning pro. He’s a free agent and will start the process this week. There will be a lot of interest in him.

On Russian free agents …

Igor Eronko: SKA GM said that they are in talks with Russia NHL players who will be free agents after the season.

Aivis Kalnins: KHL’s CSKA and SKA are both planning to go after Russian NHL free agents. Could likely add Metallurg and Salavat Julaev as teams also looking to add.

On the Carolina Hurricanes …

Cory Lavalette of the North State Journal: Hurricanes fans can expect some more changes for next season. GM Ron Francis said his top priority is to stabilize their goaltending.

“I think if we look at the team it’s not a secret,” he said. “Our goals against was 18th, our save percentage, I think, was tied for 27th in the league. So that’s certainly an area we’ve got to look at real closely and fix for next season.”

The Hurricanes could look to trade for a goalie or go the free agent route. Ben Bishop is the top rated free agent goalie. He won’t be cheap and he does have a history of injury issues.

Current Chicago Blackhawks backup Scott Darling could be a better target. He’s younger and cheaper than Bishop.

The Hurricanes could also look to add some scoring up front. They could use a top-nine center to join Jordan Staal and Victor Rask.

Their top-four defensemen are solid with Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Noah Hanifin and Justin Faulk.

Klas Dahlbeck is a solid 6/7 option. Ryan Murphy hasn’t been able to establish himself. Haydn Fleury, Roland McKeown, Trevor Carrick and Jake Bean could get looks next year. GM Francis could look to add a veteran defenseman.