LaROSE AVOIDS ARBITRATION | Canes done, except for a possible trade
The signing today of restricted free agent Chad LaRose was described by Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford as “the last signing to complete our team” heading into the 2008-2009 season, which kicks off officially with training camp in September.
LaRose, who had filed for salary arbitration, avoided that by signing a one-year deal that will pay him $875,000, a substatial raise over the $500,000 he made last season. It was a raise he deserved after getting career highs in goals (11) and points (23), despite playing in only 58 of 82 games after breaking his leg in February against Nashville. Rosey came back strong after the injury, scoring points in four of his final five games, including a hat trick.
With restricted free agent defenseman Dennis Seidenberg signing Monday (a one-year deal, $1.2 million), the Hurricanes have just about locked up their roster for the coming season. Extremely thin on the blue line just eight days ago, the additon of several defensemen has opened up the possibility of a trade to provide a bit more depth at forward. Published reports have Nic Wallin and Frantisek Kaberle as possibilities of being moved.
NHL teams can dress 20 players per game, including two goalies and 18 “skaters” – usually 12 forwards (4 centers, 8 wingers) and six defensemen. The Hurricanes have been known to dress seven defensemen. In addition to the 20 players who suit up for each game, most teams carry a few “spares” who rotate in and out of the lineup based on performance and injuries.
Here’s the probable opening-night lineup for the Carolina Hurricanes:
Cam Ward, starter
Michael Leighton, backup
Defensemen: Anton Babchuk, Josef Melichar, Tim Conboy
Forward: Brandon Sutter