This offseason has been a busy one for the Carolina Hurricanes. They have already signed or traded for multiple goalies, forwards, and defensemen. In short, the Canes are gearing up for another big season.
As I have written about before, the Canes are a team that is known for their defense. That is why on Tuesday, September 17, the Canes signed former New York Rangers defenseman Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, two-way contract. If Claesson makes the Canes’ roster, he will be paid $700,000. If Claesson is placed on the AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers’ roster, he will be paid $100,000. $200,000 of the money Claesson could be paid is guaranteed.
Claesson is not a guy who is regularly in a starting lineup, but he is an NHL veteran. In his seven NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators, who he got brought into the league with, and the New York Rangers, Claesson has played in 150 games, recording six goals and 20 assists during his time.
In a stacked defensive unit that includes the likes of Justin Faulk, Jake Gardiner, Dougie Hamilton, Jaccob Slavin, and Trevor van Riemsdyk, Claesson might not find a lot of playing time on the Canes roster. However, Claesson does have the whole preseason to prove himself worthy of a final roster spot.
Claesson will have yet another chance to prove himself on Saturday, September 21, as the Canes travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Capitals, their division rival who they knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an exciting game-winning goal from forward Brock McGinn. Surely, the Capitals will still have a salty taste in their mouth from that game, and they will look to win big.
Where Claesson ends up, I do not know. But I would hope (and expect) to see him on the Canes’ roster come Opening Night, which is on Thursday, October 3 against the Montreal Canadiens, given his NHL experience.
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