Hurricanes GM says he’s ‘not actively shopping a defenceman’

The Carolina Hurricanes kept their changes coming, sending Jeff Skinner to the Buffalo Sabres for Cliff Pu and draft picks.

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell says he’s “not actively shopping a defenceman,” but that he’s always listening to offers.

“We feel like we have a very top-end blue line with the guys that we have in place right now,” Waddell said on a conference call with reporters. “That is not (a move) that we feel is necessary that we have to make right now.

“Saying that, my job as the general manager is to listen.”

The comment came hours after the Hurricanes swung their second major trade of the summer by shipping forward Jeff Skinner to the Buffalo Sabres for prospect Cliff Pu and three draft picks.

At the NHL Draft, Carolina acquired defenceman Dougie Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and prospect Adam Fox from the Flames for defenceman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm.

 
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The Hurricanes are under new ownership and after missing the playoffs for the ninth straight season, major changes were expected this summer. Waddell himself suggested change was coming in an interview earlier this summer, where he said Skinner and defenceman Justin Faulk could both be moved to open opportunites for some younger players.

“We have to look at every position on our hockey team. We’ve gone nine years without making the playoffs and some guys have been here five, six, seven years,” Waddell said in May. “[Skinner and Faulk] are guys certainly that people have called about. I talked to almost every general manager, that we’re looking to make some changes, so certainly when other teams are calling, they usually want to call about your better players. So we’re in discussions with not only those players but multiple players.”

With Skinner now gone, the attention naturally will turn to Faulk, but it appears Waddell isn’t looking to move him anymore. Still, Waddell said multiple times Thursday that if he’s presented an offer he feels will make his team better, he’ll consider it.

“We get some calls on some different defencemen on a pretty regular basis and if there’s something there that we feel that’s going to make our hockey club better, we’re going to look at it,” he said.

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