It’s that time in the offseason when the dust starts to settle. Depth charts have started to take shape after the early flurry of trades in the offseason around the draft and free agency.

But not every team is done reconstructing its roster. There are still players who could be on the move ahead of puck drop on the season, including Brett Pesce.


Why would the Hurricanes trade Pesce?

Carolina probably doesn’t want to lose a defenseman who’s been such a pivotal part of its blue line over the last eight seasons. But if the 2024 unrestricted free agent isn’t extended by the time the season rolls around to give the team long-term certainty, he’s going to be playing elsewhere sooner than his next contract as The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported.

Pesce’s in the final year of a six-year contract carrying a $4.025 million cap hit. The deciding factor in his future may be how much of a raise he’s seeking. The Hurricanes generally don’t hand out super hefty contracts. Those are reserved for the very top of their lineup — the Sebastian Ahos (who will be seeking a new contract ahead of next summer as well), the Andrei Svechnikovs, and Jaccob Slavin probably belongs in that category, too. Outside of that, it’s hard to see management completely changing course and throwing money at Pesce, especially when they’ve created such a strong system that’s allowed them to interchange supporting players around their core. Pesce is arguably part of that core, but management may feel the foundation set would allow them to replace him if they can’t find common ground. Plus, there are some durability concerns considering his role and usage and the fact he’s already had two shoulder surgeries. The safer bet could be his partner, Brady Skjei, who is also a UFA in 2024.

If Pesce were to be a free agent this summer, Evolving Hockey would have him signing for six years at about $6.3 million a year, on average, whether or not he sticks with his current team. That’s a bit above his market value over that span of time, according to The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn, which has him closer to being worth $5.5 million.