from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,
So can Carolina afford to retain its most important defenseman? Probably, but it’s complicated. On paper, the Canes project to have almost $28 million in cap space this off-season, but GM Don Waddell must make that money go a long way. Star left winger Andrei Svechnikov is an RFA. Even if he opts for the en-vogue bridge deal at three years, it should come at an AAV of $6 million or more. The Canes also have 0.0 NHL goalies signed for 2021-22, as Petr Mrazek and James Reimer are UFAs and, more importantly, breakout No. 1 netminder Alex Nedeljkovic is an RFA. Checking forwards Jordan Martinook and Brock McGinn hit the open market, too. So it’s not like Carolina can throw $9 million at Hamilton without pausing to ponder it for a moment.
So if we do see a sign-and-trade scenario and a new address for Hamilton, which teams are the best fit?
So if we do see a sign-and-trade scenario and a new address for Hamilton, whichRed Wings GM Steve Yzerman has indicated he’s willing to add a big name but only if it’s a young player with upside who can be a core contributor for years to come. The Jakub Vrana trade met those qualifications. For that reason, I included the Red Wings on a list of potential Jones suitors, but Hamilton feels like more of a stretch given he’s 16 months older and likely to cost more. He turns 28 later this week, and Jones turns 27 in October.