Goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who signed a two-year contract that will carry a cap hit of $1.3 million with the Tampa Bay Lightning left the Carolina Hurricanes in free agency on Monday. Goaltender Petr Mrazek signed a two-year contract worth $3.125 million per year. Forward Michael Ferland remains unsigned.
While Ferland, who notched 17 goals, 40 points, and a +13 rating in 71 games during the regular-season, hurts the goal-scoring depth, that is a hole that can be solved soon by GM Don Waddell.
Mrazek, 27, recorded a 23-14-3 record with a .914 save percentage, a 2.39 goals-against average, and four shutouts in 40 games during the regular season in 2018-19. He also went 5-5 with a save percentage of .894, a goals-against average of 2.73, and two shutouts in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where he missed two games due to an undisclosed injury.
In 223 career NHL games with the Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, and Philadelphia Flyers, Mrazek has gone 101-78-26 with a save percentage of .911, a goals-against average of 2.61, and 18 shutouts. He signed a one-year contract with the Hurricanes on July 1, 2018, after the Flyers didn’t qualify him as a restricted free agent.
McElhinney, 36, posted a 20-11-2 record with a .912 save percentage, a 2.58 goals-against average, and two shutouts in 33 regular-season games during the 2018-19 campaign. He went 3-2 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average in five Stanley Cup Playoff games this Spring. In 219 career NHL games with the Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, and Columbus Blue Jackets, McElhinney has recorded an 82-82-15 record with a save percentage of .909, a goals-against average of 2.81, and 10 shutouts.
The Hurricanes, who defeated the Washington Capitals in seven games in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and got swept by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final, claimed McElhinney off of waivers from the Maple Leafs on October 2.
The team acquired goaltender James Reimer from the Florida Panthers in exchange for goaltender Scott Darling (who was bought out soon after the trade) and a sixth-round pick in 2020 to help make up for the loss of Mrazek. Reimer, 31, went 13-12-5 with a .900 save percentage and a 3.09 goals-against average in 36 games during the 2018-19 season.
The Hurricanes also acquired goaltender Anton Forsberg, who has a record of 11-24-4, a save percentage of .901, and a goals-against average of 3.21 in 45 career NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets, in a trade with the Blackhawks on June 24. He did not play a game in the NHL this season but recorded a save percentage of .919 and a goals-against average of 2.64 in 32 games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
In 321 career games with the Hurricanes and Calgary Flames, Ferland has posted 59 goals, 129 points, and a +3 rating. The Hurricanes acquired him along with defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Adam Fox from the Calgary Flames in exchange for forward Elias Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin at the 2018 NHL Draft.
Waddell told the media on Sunday that the Hurricanes were expecting to be active on July 1.
By Harrison Brown