Carolina Hurricanes' general manager Ron Francis made it clear that he was looking to upgrade at the goaltending position this offseason, and on Friday he took a big step towards doing just that... maybe.
The Hurricanes completed a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks today, giving up their third round draft pick this year to acquire veteran backup goaltender Scott Darling who put up some very solid numbers in the 2015-2017 National Hockey League season. While the acquisition itself is certainly an upgrade for the Hurricanes, it's also one that comes with a major risk.
Darling was playing on the final year of his contract this season, which meas he will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. On that date Darling could very well opt to leave the Hurricanes behind and sign with whatever team makes him the best offer, although the Hurricanes have bought themselves two months of exclusive negotiation rights.
Unless the Hurricanes can get a deal signed before the 1st of July, they will have effectively given the Chicago Blackhawks a third round draft pick for nothing. To make matters worse, Blackhawks insider Mark Lazerus is reporting that the Hurricanes have had no talks with Darling prior to making this trade. The pressure is all on general manager Ron Francis now, and that's putting it mildly.