Hurricanes Land Free Agent Dzingel

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed one of the biggest names left on the free agent market, Ryan Dzingel, to a two-year, $6.75 million contract.

The contract will see him earn $3.25 million in 2019-20 and $3.5 million in 2020-21. The 27-year-old explained why he chose the Hurricanes shortly after the announcement.

“I wanted to go somewhere where I believed in the team and the city.”

Dzingel split the 2018-19 season between the Ottawa Senators and the Columbus Blue Jackets, playing 78 games, collecting career highs in goals (26), assists (30) and points (56).

After playing 57 games with the Senators, the forward was traded to the Blue Jackets just before the NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for Anthony Duclair, a second-round pick in the 2020 draft and a second-round pick in the 2021 draft. Of his totals, 22 goals and 44 points came from playing in Ottawa, with the remaining 12 points coming with his new team in 21 games.

Hurricanes general manager Doug Waddell expressed his excitement in the signing in a statement after Dzingel signed the contract.

“Ryan has proven that he can be an impact player offensively, putting up bigger numbers over each of his three full-time NHL seasons. His speed, skill and vision make him an excellent fit for our forward group and our style of play. At 27, he’s just entering his prime and certainly had options coming off a 26-goal season, so we’re happy he’s chosen to be a part of the Carolina Hurricanes.”

Dzingel joins a team that shocked many by defeating the Stanley Cup-defending Washington Capitals and sweeping the New York Islanders en route to the Eastern Conference Final before getting swept themselves by the Boston Bruins.

The scoring depth he provides should help them moving forward as they look to best their 2018-19 mark. He could fit on the second line with Jordan Staal and Andrei Scechnikov which may boost his point totals as he looks to best his career-highs.

Dzingel Left More Money on the Table

Prior to being traded by the Senators, reports came out that the team had offered their pending unrestricted free agent a five-year deal worth $5 million per year. Dzingel turned it down and was traded shortly after.

Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Dzingel
Former-Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Dzingel (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Whether he felt that he would get more on the open market, or made it clear that he wasn’t going to be re-signing with the team that drafted him, his new deal is a steep drop from what the Senators were offering. It’s possible that his less-than-stellar playoff performance cost him a larger deal, as he had just one goal in nine playoff games.

Hurricanes Getting Close to the Cap

With this signing, the Hurricanes are now just $7 million away from the salary cap ceiling, with some notable names left to re-sign.

Among them, captain Justin Williams is an unrestricted free agent. The 37-year-old had 23 goals and 53 points last season, showing that he can still contribute at his age. He’s coming off of a two-year, $9 million deal and may need to take a pay cut if he hopes to stay in Carolina.

Another notable name is Brock McGinn. The 25-year-old is a restricted free agent coming off of a two-year, $1.775 million bridge deal. He’ll be due for a raise after collecting 26 goals and 56 points over the last two seasons. He also had two goals and six points in the Hurricanes’ playoff run.

Other restricted free agents that Waddel needs to look at are Clark Bishop, Gustav Forsling, Hadyn Fleury and Saku Maenalanen. There may be more moves coming from Carolina.