Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: joni pitkänen
This summer has already been pretty crazy for the Hurricanes, and the free agency period hasn’t even begun. With daily ebbs and flows regarding the progress (or lack of same) being made with contract negotiations, certain players have been generally regarded as “as good as gone” while others have been viewed as “sure-thing renewals”. Today, for the milllionth day in a row, there was a big wrinkle. One that I never expected.
Defenseman Joni Pitkänen was written off by most fans. He was the one player who most believed to be the one who was being the most difficult with his negotiations. And then today, he of all people was the first of the four “big” UFAs to re-sign. He has signed a three-year contract renewal at $4.5M per season. Although the particulars aren’t available just yet, we’ll assume that it’s $4.5 in each season, rather than 4 / 4.5 / 5 or something like that. This is, incidentally, the same salary that Pitkänen got last season (with a cap hit of $4M).
The other day, I wrote about how Carolina’s thriftiness would make it difficult to reach the new salary cap floor of $48.3M. Compounding that was their lack of any progress with any of their own prospective UFAs. Since the draft, things have taken a turn and it seems like at least three of the four key UFAs will be re-signing.
Also, the Canes made a bit of an unexpected move by not offering qualifying sheets to RFAs Jiri Tlusty and Troy Bodie. The 5:00 pm deadline came and went and they are now officially on the market, waiting for the bell to ring on Friday. (Nearly) everybody else got qualifying sheets.
First, a quick word about the RFAs, then a look at the UFA situation. Then something about Sutter.