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Don Waddell, GM of the Carolina Hurricanes, does an interview with the NHL Network
Photo credit: NHL Network on YouTube

Insider says Hurricanes Willing to Deal Big Free Agent Signing

Published December 31, 2023 at 2:06 PM
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Despite just signing a new multi-year deal, it's being reported that Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell is looking to move on from forward Michael Bunting.

Prized Free Agent Signing has Worn Out his Welcome with the Hurricanes



According to Sportnet's NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, Waddell is receiving plenty of interest in Bunting after putting out word that he may need cap room to get a goaltender.

"There is word around the League that when Carolina was looking to clear some cap room and maybe make a move for a goaltender, Bunting's name came up,» Friedman said. «He was a bit lower down the lineup at the time – he's still about seventh or eighth on ice time – and there was some talk about could he be the person moved in order to create the room. We'll see where that develops."




Hurricanes Michael Bunting on the Trade Block



After two seasons in Toronto where he scored 23 goals, Bunting became an unrestricted free agent, and was courted by several teams before signing a three-year deal with Carolina worth $4.5 million annually. He had a slow start in Carolina in 2023-24, but does seem to be finding his legs more lately. He has 8 goals in 36 games so far this season. That puts the former Arizona Coyotes fourth-round pick on pace for around 18 goals for 2023-24, unless he can pick up the pace in the second half of the season.

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The Hurricanes very much need help in net before the playoffs start, and Bunting could be an attractive piece to get the deal done. If not, the Canes, one of the favourites at the start of the season to go all the way to the Stanley Cup, could find themselves asking "what if?" after taking in early exit in the postseason.
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December 31   |   165 answers
Insider says Hurricanes Willing to Deal Big Free Agent Signing

Does Bunting get trades this season?

Yes6640 %
No5533.3 %
Not sure4426.7 %
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