After weeks of speculation and a surprising amount of media coverage, both of Carolina’s reluctant free agents are back for 2009-2010 and beyond.
I mused that it was JR that was shying away from longer contracts, but perhaps, instead, it’s the players that want a shot at a bigger payday in a few years when the economy warms up. Chad LaRose was reportedly offered a three-year deal last night that he and his agent talked over but ultimately did not accept. After exploring the market, LaRose and the ‘Canes decided on a two-year deal.
LaRose settled for the exact same contract Jussi Jokinen received three days ago - $1.5 million next season and $1.9 the year after that. It was a significant raise for LaRose and a slight pay cut for Jokinen, which makes me wonder how both feel about how this whole thing shook out.
The 5’9, undrafted LaRose wasn’t expected to crack the NHL, but he surpassed all expectations with a 19-goal season in 2008-2009. Things haven’t been smooth for Larose contract-wise – he filed for arbitration last year – but a rabid fan base that adores you and teammates and staff that compliment you at every chance go a long way.
Still no new blood on the ‘Canes’ roster, but we’ll keep you posted.