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Hurricanes expect to be active in trade market this summer

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell will be calling his fellow GMs rather than testing the free-agent market to find improvements this offseason.

"I still think the trade route is something we're going to explore very heavily before free agency," Waddell said Wednesday at his end-of-season availability.

He added that the first day of free agency "is probably the most dangerous day in hockey, besides the trade deadline."

Waddell swung a pair of blockbuster trades last July, acquiring Brent Burns from the San Jose Sharks and Max Pacioretty from the Vegas Golden Knights.

Burns was an instant fit, playing a pivotal role in helping Carolina win the Metropolitan Division and reach the Eastern Conference Final. Pacioretty only played five games before re-injuring his Achilles. He's a pending unrestricted free agent.

Waddell said he'd like to add goals to the roster but isn't just focusing on a pure sniper.

"We'd like to get a little heavier, if possible," Waddell said. "We also need guys like Teuvo (Teravainen) to have a bounce-back year. He had a tough year this year. And guys like (Seth) Jarvis are only going to get better. So we might have a lot of that goal-scoring internally, and there are other things that we might be able to address then."

Carolina scored 3.07 goals per game in the playoffs, the lowest mark of any team in the final four. The club ranked 15th in goals for during the regular season (262).

The Hurricanes have an estimated $24.1 million in cap space this offseason, per Cap Friendly. They have a host of key players headed for unrestricted free agency, including captain Jordan Staal and goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta.

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