The Best Landing Spots for Brett Pesce

Brett Pesce skating for the Carolina Hurricanes
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes are coming off a disappointing playoff exit after being eliminated in Round 2 by the New York Rangers. The focus for Carolina has shifted to the off-season, and with many questions on the roster and not enough money to answer them all, some hard decisions will be made. Brett Pesce enters free agency as one of the most sought-after defensemen in the market—the 6’3″ 206 lbs. Pesce has been a top-four, shutdown defenseman for the Hurricanes for nine seasons and does his job exceptionally well. He doesn’t produce a ton of offense but will be seeking a raise in free agency. Carolina cannot afford to pay Pesce as an elite top-four defenseman while retaining some of their existing free agents and RFAs (restricted free agents). Pesce will get paid elsewhere as he tries to secure a big contract while still in the prime of his career. Here are five landing spots for the big, versatile, right-shot defenseman:

Detroit Red Wings

Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings have made it no secret they’d like to upgrade their defense. Detroit was 24th in the league in goals allowed and needs to be better if they want to break through and join the post-season for the first time since 2016. Pesce would be a great fit in Detroit next to Moritz Sieder. There has even been some talk around the rumor mill of Detroit going after Pesce and Brady Skjei from Carolina and pairing them together in Detroit. The Red Wings have over 29 million in cap space so adding both former Hurricanes is possible for Steve Yzerman’s crew. With the addition of Pesce, and others, Detroit’s road back to the playoffs looks clear.

Related Post: The Best Landing Spots for Jake DeBrusk

Toronto Maple Leafs

Fans, media, and even casual observers of hockey realize that Toronto needs help defensively, it’s been their Achilles heel for years (along with poor goaltending). With over 18 million in cap space, now is the time for Toronto to sign a top-four defenseman like Pesce. Pesce’s solid two-way game and puck-moving skills would help the Maple Leafs defensively but he could transition pucks quickly to Toronto’s dangerous forwards. Will Toronto learn its lesson and finally focus its attention where it’s needed most, on the defensive side of the puck? We shall see.

Nashville Predators

There are rumors that Nashville is hot on the trail of Pesce, the big right-shot defenseman, with a spot next to the dynamic Roman Josi being a perfect fit. Pesce could be the Ryan Lindgren to Josi’s Adam Fox, allowing Josi to create offense while having Pesce as the reliable partner to hold things down defensively. General Manager Barry Trotz wants to be aggressive in free agency to continue to build on the talented nucleus the Preds have. Pesce could go a long way toward moving Nashville in the right direction.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils have emerged as a candidate to sign Brett Pesce in free agency. New Jersey was seen as a Stanley Cup contender by many going into the 23-24 season, but injuries and poor goaltending derailed those hopes. The Devils and GM Tom Fitzgerald see their roster as only a few pieces away from contending with defense and goaltending areas they’d like to improve. Pesce and Dougie Hamilton would constitute a formidable top pair for Jersey. The Devils have over 16 million to spend heading into free agency and have already added Jakob Markstrom from Calgary through trade. New Jersey is well on their way to adding the pieces needed to be one of the favorites for the Stanley Cup next season.

Utah Hockey Club

Brett Pesce would make a terrific signing for Utah because the former Coyotes franchise has no defensemen under contract for the 24-25 season. Zero. None. Utah will need at least six to begin the season, and Pesce would be a good place to start. Salt Lake City could use an anchor on the back end to build their D corps around, and with over 43.5 million to spend, they may be able to entice him to come to Utah. If the Tarrytown, New York native wants to win now, Salt Lake may not be the place for him, but if he wants to mentor a young team and help build the franchise up from scratch as one of the leaders, Utah would be happy to have him.

Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline Bruins Benders Podcast

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  1. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  2. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  3. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  4. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone
  5. Season 3. Episode 44. Yay Or Nay

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