Metropolitan Notes: Hurricanes, Sugar, Jiricek

Hurricanes GM Don Waddell told Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander that he expects to reach an agreement with the defense attorney Maxim Lajoie ahead of Tuesday’s arbitration hearing. The 24-year-old has spent most of the season with the minors so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a new arrangement. Notably, Carolina will get their second buyout window soon after once this new deal closes, and Waddell didn’t rule out the possibility of leverage, but did note they could make things work without going down that route . A player must earn $4 million to be buyout in this window and Blueliner Jake Gardiner — who missed all of last season with back and hip problems — makes $4.05 million. He was cleared to return, which entitles him to be bought out. Once Lajoie’s deal is signed, the buyout window opens three days later and lasts 48 hours.

More from the Metropolitan:

  • Penguins winger Jason Sugar has recovered from the series of lower body injuries that plagued him in the second half of last season, notes’s Jessi Pierce. It’s been a rough road for the 30-year-old, who has only 47 points in 94 games since being acquired by Pittsburgh just before the 2020 trade deadline. Next season will be a contract year for Zucker, and if he can’t return to the form he had with Minnesota, he’ll be offered a significantly better deal next summer compared to his current $5.5 million AAV in To consider.
  • View of Blue Jackets David Jiricek was granted permission to join the Czechs for the upcoming World Juniors, their ice hockey federation announced (Twitter link). The 18-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 late last month and was unable to travel with the rest of the team to begin tournament preparations. Jiricek, sixth pick overall last month, will be the Czech Republic’s top defender at the event and a strong performance could help him earn a spot in Columbus’ squad next season.

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