Carolina Hurricanes Make Early Moves Before Free Agency

Photo: Hector Urcia | Inside The Rink

As the Stanley Cup Finals wrap up and the official NHL offseason begins on July 1, the Carolina Hurricanes have seized the best with their early offseason.

In the past three days, the organization has hired a new GM, according to early reports from Frank Seravalli. Interim GM Eric Tulsky is now the franchise’s full-time and permanent GM. Neither the organization or any local beat writers have confirmed Seravalli’s report, still referring to Tulsky as “interim” in reports. Tulsky has been with the organization since 2014, and has been the assistant general manager since 2020. As the story is still developing, updates will be released once more information is released.

The second major move publicly announced is the re-signing of defenseman Jalen Chatfield. Chatfield’s new contract takes him through the 2026-2027 season, with a paycheck of three-million a year. With twenty-two goals in the 2023-2024 season, Chatfield had proven himself to be a valued free agent and a force for Carolina’s defensive system. By signing, he avoids free agency entirely.

Elliotte Freidman posted on X shortly before Chatfield’s signing that the front office was working on another major signing for the Canes defense: Jaccob Slavin. While Slavin is not a UFA like Chatfield, this coming season marks the final year on his contract. Re-signings and extensions begin July 1, and the Hurricanes have historically capitalized on major extensions early (such as forward Sebastian Aho’s eight-year, seventy-eight million dollar extension last offseason). Slavin is a major factor in both the Hurricanes defense and team culture, currently one of the three players to wear the organization’s A on-ice. He is also a two-time Lady Byng winner, the second defenseman to ever win the award twice. Freidman stated on Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast that a deal is all-but done, and the organization will have to wait until July 1 to officially announce the re-signing.

While the Hurricanes have a long offseason in terms of player deals and navigation of their core changing, they have 26M in cap space after the Chatfield signing. Fans should have some hope for next season if the Tulsky rumors are legitimate, knowing that if nothing else, the Hurricanes defense will remain a core strength.

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