Cary, NC

McGinn, Martinook, and Mrazek Are All Upcoming Free Agents. Will Carolina Re-Sign Them?

JL Matthews
Visual Generation / Shutterstock

Right now, there's plenty of focus on upcoming free agents like Dougie Hamilton and Rod Brind'Amour--and for good reason.

But the Canes have some other big UFAs, too.

Let's look at three of the biggest: Brock McGinn, Jordan Martinook, and Petr Mrazek.

Brock McGinn

Brock McGinn is a Hurricanes lifer. A second-round pick in 2012, McGinn made his NHL debut with the team in the 2015-16 campaign. At 27 years of age, McGinn is now weeks away from entering the market as an unrestricted free agent in his prime.

McGinn is a versatile winger that can play anywhere from the top line to the fourth line. He's also been a mainstay on the penalty kill--typically the other forward on the ice to start the kill next to Jordan Staal.

His expiring contract paid McGinn $4.2m over two years--and he should be in line for a raise. So expect him to get something like $10m over four years.

What are the odds the Canes renew his contract?

80% - Yes; 20% - No.

Of all the players on the roster, McGinn is perhaps the one that most resembles Rod Brind'Amour's playing style. He's tough, works hard, and does lots of unheralded work along the boards. Given his value to the team, McGinn should get an extension.

Jordan Martinook

Much like McGinn, Martinook was a second-round draft pick in 2012--but for the Arizona Coyotes. After being traded to Carolina prior to the 2018-19 season, Martinook turned in a career-best year with 15 goals and 10 assists. But Martinook hasn't come close to duplicating that goal-scoring production in his last two seasons.

On the ice, Martinook can play center (in a pinch) and is a mainstay on the penalty kill. However, what makes Martinook such a challenging case are his intangibles. Without being in the locker room, it's tough to know whether his outgoing personality is what this group needs or if it has lost its charm.

The other big factor for Martinook is the Canes' organizational depth. In part, the development of forwards Steven Lorentz, Morgan Geekie, Ryan Suzuki, Dominik Bokk, and Seth Jarvis will factor into negotiations with Martinook.

If the Canes front office thinks the youngsters are ready to step up, Martinook might be surplus to needs.

What are the odds the Canes renew his contract?

65% - Yes; 35% - No.

Already one of the younger teams in the league, the Canes would be wise to keep a veteran like Martinook around. Also, with Dougie Hamilton already exploring his options, cap space shouldn't be a sticking point for the Canes. Expect Martinook to renew with Carolina--but on a short-term (1 or 2-year) deal.

Petr Mrazek

It was a tough season for Petr Mrazek.

Injured by his own teammate in January, Mrazek missed most of the shortened season after having thumb surgery. When he did return in the final weeks of the regular season, he found himself splitting time with Alex Nedeljkovic--who had seized the starter's crease in his absence.

Now the 29-year-old former fifth-round pick of Detroit in 2010 finds himself in an awkward situation.

Carolina can only protect one goaltender in the upcoming expansion draft in July. And they're almost certain to protect Nedeljkovic--who is a finalist for the Calder Trophy (league's top rookie).

So, that leaves Mrazek in a waiting game. Even if the two sides were eager to renew his contract, it's unlikely they'd do so before the expansion draft since Mrazek wouldn't be protected.

Instead, Mrazek looks destined for free agency.

During his time in Carolina, Mrazek has posted a 90-50-32 record, with a .911 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average. Despite only starting two games in the playoffs, his value should earn him a raise from his expiring contract that paid him $6.25m over two years.

Something like $12m over four years is not out of the question for Mrazek--but it's probably out of the question for Carolina.

What are the odds the Canes renew his contract?

10% - Yes; 90% - No.

Mrazek was the victim of bad luck this year, but it shouldn't hurt his ability to get paid. Nevertheless, I think it's unlikely that Carolina would be willing to spend that sort of money on a goaltender who would not be a clear-cut number one.

Comments / 0

Published by

JL Matthews is a writer with interests spanning history, humor, tv/film, parenting, and more. His work has appeared in numerous publications, and he is a 6x Top Writer on Medium. Follow him on News Break, Medium, and Twitter for updates and latest work.

Raleigh, NC

More from JL Matthews

Comments / 0