Big questions about these conference semi-finalist teams answered

Noel Drolet
May 22, 2024  (1:31 PM)

Valeri Nichushkin
Photo credit: TSN

A look at how second round teams should run their offseason heading into next year.

With teams dropping in the second round, it's time to answer some questions about what they should do going into next year. Some of these teams will be looking to add players, some will have to subtract from their current rosters, and some will have to re-sign key players if they want them to stay.
First is the Carolina Hurricanes, who have a lot of work to do. The Hurricanes have 27M in cap space to sign 14 free agents. Their first priority should be signing the Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce to mid-term contracts. Both would be ideal on 4-5 year contracts. I would also make sure you sign Seth Jarvis to a 7-8 year deal, since he was fantastic this year even while deadline with a wrist injury.
I would trade either Jake Guentzel or Martin Necas if suitors come up, or else you'll have to let them walk. Definitely let Tony Deangelo walk, unless he agrees to a league minimum contract. You could also sign Teravainen to a contract anywhere south of 4.5M, but if he asks for more it'll be best to let him go too. Re-sign everyone else to low value low term contracts.
For the Avalanche, the big question is if Valeri Nichushkin is worth keeping around. What he's going through is no joke, but it doesn't ease the fact that he's now missed two postseasons in a row. He just can't seem to stay on the ice and definitely seems to need a fresh start somewhere else. I don't think he's worth Colorado's time anymore, and with his contract having 6 more years at 6.1M a season the Avalanche will definitely have to sweeten the deal for anyone else to take him on. He's a great player when he does play, but between injuries and player assistance it may be time to move on from him.
For the Bruins, the question lies in net with Linus Ullmark. It may be time for the Bruins to move on from him as well with the emergence of Swayman as a star in net. Ullmark is really happy in Boston, reportedly even vetoing a trade to Los Angeles at the trade deadline.
Ullmark has one year left on a 5M contract, making him perfect for teams that need a goalie. It's time for the Bruins to move on from their allstar tandem in net and capitalize on Ullmark's value right now. Without a doubt it is the smarter decision to deal him somewhere else, free up the cap and possibly acquire players that could help you win now. Boston's lack of scoring was evident in the playoffs, so if they could move Ullmark for a good center or a sniper on the wing, they'd be in a much better position heading into next season.
22 MAI   |   225 ANSWERS
Big questions about these conference semi-finalist teams answered

Which team is in the worst position headed into next year?

Carolina4720.9 %
Boston11551.1 %
Colorado6328 %
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