Hurricanes Consider Michael Bunting Trade to Free Up Cap Space.
Amidst the Carolina Hurricanes’ search for goaltender help and cap space flexibility, Michael Bunting’s name emerged in trade negotiations.
Amidst the Carolina Hurricanes’ pursuit for a goalie improvement and cap space flexibility, Michael Bunting’s name has emerged in trade negotiations, according to reports from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Specifically, while the Hurricanes were considering moves to acquire a goaltender, Bunting’s name appeared, indicating the likelihood of him being sold.
Bunting, who signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract with the Hurricanes in the summer, has been a productive addition to the team, tallying eight goals and 25 points in 36 games this season. However, despite his contributions, the Hurricanes are evaluating the option of trading him to create room for possible acquisitions. Teams were reportedly kicking tires on Bunting. It’s not apparent if anything was close, but Friedman did claim those talks took taken.
The 28-year-old winger picked the Hurricanes over a return to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he had a spectacular season, collecting 23 goals and 26 assists in the last year of his two-year, $1.9 million deal. Bunting suffered a bit from the get-go, but has now hit a new level of output.
Moving Bunting, with a $4.5 million cap charge, would drastically offer up financial options for the Hurricanes. However, it comes with the cost of losing a prominent contributor. Bunting, albeit facing a modest decline in ice time compared to previous season, remains a reliable scoring force, playing a part on the top power play unit.
What Do The Hurricanes Need More: a Goalie or Bunting?
The Hurricanes, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season, are seeking methods to bolster their roster further. One of their needs is a goaltender since the squad has one of the league’s worst combined save percentages between its starters.
The Hurricanes now have roughly $3 million in spending room, with potential flexibility growing to over $8 million before the trade deadline, according per CapFriendly. Friedman seems to have implied trade conversations involving Bunting have since slowed, but the team’s financial maneuvering would depend on many things. Always one of the NHL’s most active teams in trade conversations, no one should be startled to discover that talks took place.