Roster choices ahead for Canes

Staff writersJune 3, 2010 

— Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. indicated Wednesday that a decision on whether to buy out the final year of Rod Brind'Amour's contract may not be made for some time.

Brind'Amour, 39, will make $3 million next season, although the Canes could buy out the former team captain for $2 million.

Brind'Amour could retire, but he indicated in an interview Tuesday he was not ready to do that.

"It's a hard situation any time you have a player coming to the end of his career that has given as much as he has and works as hard as he has," Karmanos said. "There's no easy solution to that.

"I just want to win hockey games; whatever works out best.

"As far as an obligation to a player, every time the contract ends, you settle that. Rod has another year left on his contract at $3 million, I believe. If it makes sense to us to have him play, fine. If we have to buy him out, we'll do that. We'll see what happens with training camp and all that stuff. ...

"You want to do the right thing for the player. If you think he can pick up somewhere else, you don't want to leave him in a position where there are no jobs open somewhere else.

"You should make your decision at a time when it's good for the team and good for the player."

Samsonov decision ahead: A decision on Brind'Amour is not the only one facing the Canes.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Wednesday that another may be made on veteran winger Sergei Samsonov.

Samsonov, 31, is due $2.8 million next season in the final year of his contract. But the Canes, looking to transition to younger forwards next season, could elect to try and trade him or buy him out.

"We're still working through that," Rutherford said.

Whitney talks under way: Rutherford said he would meet again next week with forward Ray Whitney, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Babchuk could be back: Defenseman Anton Babchuk recently returned to Raleigh with his agent to discuss signing a contract that would bring him back to the team, Rutherford said.

Babchuk left for Russia after the 2008-09 season and played for Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental League, but the Canes retained his rights.

"It was a very productive meeting," Rutherford said. "We can't sign him until July 1 because he played in Europe last year, but I'm very comfortable we will sign him at that point."

Looking to the draft: The Hurricanes' amateur and professional scouts are meeting at the RBC Center this week as the team prepares for next season and for the NHL Entry Draft. Carolina has the No. 7 pick in the draft, but there has been speculation the Canes might try to move up with an eye on getting forward Tyler Seguin.

Seguin plays for the Karmanos-owned Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and is expected to be one of the top two picks.

But Karmanos on Wednesday downplayed the possibility of the Canes using their slew of draft picks to move up.

"When you see a player play the number of games I've seen Tyler play, you also see the things he doesn't do," Karmanos said. "If you don't see him and just read the press clippings, you'd think, 'Greatest player since Stevie Yzerman.' Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin ... are rated one and two in the draft, and I'm sort of glad we don't have to make that pick.

"It's a very, very deep draft with three or four other outstanding players."

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