The Carolina Hurricanes are at risk of losing a truly important player in their system, as Dougie Hamilton‘s contract is about to expire. If the team should fail to come to terms, how will they cope with losing one of their top players? It seems unlikely that the team won’t do anything possible to resign the player, but should he decide that his future lies elsewhere, this is how the Hurricanes may look to line up.
With the development of Brett Pesce, the Hurricanes would likely look to at least promote from within to fill a spot in the first line. From that point, they would then have a spot to fill on the second, which they may also fill from within with the use of Jake Gardiner, a senior player who currently is not in the lineup as head coach Brind’Amour has elected for a more youthful system recently.
If the team were to search for a replacement from outside instead of from within, they would have no shortage of free agents that they could potentially sign. Players that could fit into their system include Tyson Barrie, David Savard, and Ryan Murray.
In signing Tyson Barrie, the Hurricanes would gain a fairly solid defenseman, although he has yet to perform on the caliber of Hamilton. The player in question plays as an offensive defenseman, putting up close to 50 points almost every season since 2014-15. The defensive side of his game is slightly lacking, which would see him needing to be put on the same line as an overtly stay-at-home defenseman, such as top-line player Jaccob Slavin. Overall, this defenseman would make a solid acquisition in terms of replacing the offensive capabilities of Hamilton.
On the other end of the spectrum, David Savard plays in his defensive end with a high degree of proficiency. He has looked slightly unsettled with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and as such, it is somewhat unlikely that they will resign him. If he were to come to Carolina, he would make a solid short-handed unit player and take the role of a heavy hitter. However, the player is not as much of a goal scorer as Hamilton and thus will see the defensive lines of the Hurricanes needing to shift away from being expected to score.
Finally, in acquiring Ryan Murray, the Hurricanes would gain a level-headed two-way defenseman who can fit into most defensive schemas without too much hesitation. The player is also the youngest of the players on the list of possible replacements while still easily fitting in as a top-six defenseman. However, the player has yet to show that he is on the level of Hamilton to serve as a suitable replacement. He may fit best into the plan to move Pesce up to the first line, with the new signing moving into a second line position to become comfortable in the team dynamic.
Main image credit