NHL Notebook: Carolina Hurricanes nearing one-year deal with free agent defenceman Tony DeAngelo and potential trade fits for Erik Karlsson

Photo credit:Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
10 months ago
The Carolina Hurricanes are nearing a one-year contract with free agent defenceman Tony DeAngelo.
The Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers — who DeAngelo spent last season with — spoke earlier in the offseason in regards to a potential trade, but couldn’t get a deal done. It resulted in the Flyers buying out the second year of a two-year, $5-million AAV deal.
Now, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the one-year deal will reportedly carry a $1.6-million AAV.
Here’s more from Daily Faceoff’s Naftali Clinton:
DeAngelo is a very talented offensive defenseman who scored 11 goals and 42 points this past season in 70 games for the Philadelphia Flyers. He led all Flyers defensemen in points by a wide margin but was a huge liability defensively, putting up a team worst -27 rating. DeAngelo has been bought out two times in the last three years by the New York Rangers and Flyers, respectively.
On the surface he’s a great player to have on any team. He scores points like a top-six forward, he can man a powerplay unit and he’s an elite playmaker. However, between his horrendous defensive metrics and off-ice antics teams might be wiser to stay away from the Sewell, New Jersey native.
DeAngelo is following a familiar pattern. Get signed to a two-year deal with a high cap hit, get bought out after year one, sign a one-year prove-it deal, sign another two-year deal at a high cap hit, get bought out again after year one, sign a one-year deal prove-it deal, rinse and repeat.


Karlsson trade fits

The Erik Karlsson saga continues to chug along with the San Jose Sharks standing ground — for some reason — in trade negotiations with clubs.
The Sharks reportedly are looking for a hefty return in the deal in terms of assets instead of being content clearing up a massive amount of cap space.
Nonetheless, Karlsson said over the weekend he had spoken with multiple teams about a trade including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Seattle Kraken.
Over at Daily Faceoff, Mike McKenna analyzed a few potential trade fits:
This is a tough one. On one hand, the Hurricanes have shown a knack for incorporating just about anyone into the team’s system and making it work. Which is a huge credit to the culture head coach Rod Brind’Amour has created. Hurricanes players would go through a wall for him. And Brind’Amour’s attention to detail comes through in how well the team defends. Since taking over behind the Carolina bench in 2018, only the Bruins and Islanders have allowed fewer goals per game than the Hurricanes.
If I was Don Waddell, I wouldn’t add Karlsson. I saw the Sharks with Burns and Karlsson too many times to feel comfortable with them comprising one-third of my defense. But that’s my gut feeling. The numbers, combined with Brind’Amour’s rock-solid system, suggest the Hurricanes could flip the script. But in my mind, it’s a leap too far. And the Hurricanes need a sniper forward more than they need another offensive defenseman.
There’s an obvious connection with Jason Spezza recently signing on as the Penguins’ assistant GM. He and Karlsson played together in Ottawa and have a friendly relationship. But would it make sense on the ice? I think so.
Looking at Pittsburgh’s current roster construction, it’s pretty obvious that any trade for Karlsson would be done to essentially replace aging defenseman Jeff Petry, who is no longer worth $6.25 million a year. And if that’s how a deal would be viewed, it’s clearly a net positive. Karlsson is the best offensive defenseman in hockey. And the Penguins already have Kris Letang to drive play. Adding Karlsson would give the Penguins a dynamic one-two punch on the back end.
First off, I love what the Kraken have going for them. GM Ron Francis has built a deep, hard-working roster that overachieved last year. And kudos to head coach Dave Hakstol for giving a team short in high-end talent the blueprint to success. Seattle was arguably the best 5-on-5 team in the NHL during the 2022-23 season.
But as much as I like where the Kraken are headed, at some point Francis will need to feed the beast and take a swing at a big name. Karlsson very much fits the bill. But what I’m not sure of is just how ready the Kraken are to contend for a Stanley Cup. I like the team. Seattle was a headache for opposing teams last season.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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