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Hurricanes want to add a big free agent this summer

Mar 21, 2012, 8:17 PM EDT

Zach Parise Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes have had their great – if sporadic – runs over the years, but when it comes to star power, they’ve typically leaned heavily on Eric Staal, Cam Ward and now Jeff Skinner.

That’s not a bad nucleus, but GM Jim Rutherford has been hamstrung by a shaky budget and even shakier moves (see: Kaberle, Tomas), leaving the Hurricanes as a pretty thin bunch. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Hurricanes are tired of settling for the Alexei Ponikarovsky-type marginal free agents; they want to get into the Zach Parise/Ryan Suter sweepstakes this summer, instead.

(If either star player hits the unrestricted market, mind you.)

Both players would obviously give Carolina a huge shot in the arm – and would possibly boost them to “contender” status in the notably weak Southeast Division. The Hurricanes haven’t had a defenseman on Suter’s level since their Hartford Whalers days while Parise would easily outclass Erik Cole as the best winger Staal has ever skated with in Carolina.

Of course, one could also call free agency the dangerous siren call of sports. Those dreams of grandeur seduce teams into spending big amounts of money only to feel the sticker shock later on. (Again, see: Kaberle, Tomas.)

It’s unclear what, exactly, would make the Hurricanes’ management willing to spend big. Perhaps it’s that weak division, possibilities to gain a rare free agent gem or merely the promise of Kirk Muller’s coaching skills. Either way, it would likely answer the prayers of Hurricanes fans who’ve watched Staal and Ward strain to carry the load over the years.

The Tomas Kaberle‘s of the world blare an important warning, though: be careful what you wish for.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I wish my job was to dream up fantasy teams and then try to sell them to the real world…

    Seriously, this won’t happen. Parise wants to be a piece of a winner. He’ll go where he can do his thing but not be the focus.

  2. cup0pizza - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Would be pretty surprised if Parise doesn’t become a Dallas Star.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHHA!

  3. thatstheonlywhy - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    I don’t think anyone really knows where Parise’s going. One guy says a winner, one guy says Dallas. I’ve heard MN, staying in Jersey. So I think aside from Parise we are all living in a dream world, by predicting where he’s going.

    • habsman - Mar 21, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Nice shot.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:00 AM

      I say a winner, another guy says Dallas, you say somewhere in between…should be interesting.

  4. martysbetter - Mar 21, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    My sister’s roommate is Parise’s girlfriend’s cousin’s neighbor and she says that she heard from the neighbor across the street that he told the mailman last week that he’s staying in Jersey.

    • drewzducks - Mar 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      Congrats! You’ve been hired as an insider for PHT.

  5. geo91 - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    A lot depends on if Lidstrom retires in Detroit (hope to god he doesn’t). The Wings have some cap space right now to play around with and a few expiring contracts they wont necessarily have to re-up (Hudler, Stuart will probably leave, Holmer maybe). Parise is American so it’s not like he’ll run to T.O or Vancity, so we’ve got a shot. If the Caps decide to part with Semin, he might come play with the European locker room instead.

  6. rainyday56 - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Parise’s destiny is to wind up on Long Island like his dad, Jude Drouin.

  7. cup0pizza - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Parise’s destiny is to wind up playing for the same organization his dad starred for (Minnesota North Stars>Dallas Stars). His dad is J.P. Parise, not Jude Drouin.

  8. pittsportsfan - Mar 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    I heard Parise was going to be signed by the Hartford Whalers.

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