The Hurricanes started day two of the draft with a bang.
Carolina agreed to a deal with Toronto that would bring a conditional 1st-round pick and a 7th round pick in next year’s draft, as well as Patrick Marleau to Raleigh in exchange for a 6th round pick in next years draft.
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Don Waddell and Tom Dundon leveraged their $27M of cap room and the rumored impending drop in salary cap and to steal a first-round pick. Reports are that the Canes intend to buy out Marleau, allowing him to go back to San Jose like he’s expressed interest in doing
This feels like a big win for Waddell and Dundon, finding a creative way to use their unique position this year to set themselves up well in the future. The condition on the fist round pick is that if it turns out to be a top-10 pick, then the Canes get Toronto’s first rounder in 2021.
It will be interesting to see how this acquisition affects free agent negotiations, particularly with Sebastian Aho looking to get a significant raise this summer. With a buyout Marleau would join Alexander Semin on the list player the Hurricanes are paying not to play in 2019-20. That would mean nearly $8.5M going to players not on the ice next season.
That said, the Marleau contract is a one year, so it can be cleared quickly enough. This deal allowed both teams to fill needs, allowing Toronto to clear cap space and setting the Canes up for the future.