Chad LaRose skips exit interview; Jim Rutherford says changes are coming for Hurricanes

Bruce Bennett

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford gave his end-of-season press conference on Thursday, where he detailed his plans for the offseason.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Chad LaRose decided to skip his end-of-season interview with the team this week, according to general manager Jim Rutherford on Thursday morning.

Rutherford conducted his end-of-season press conference and discussed some of team's goals for this offseason. LaRose, potentially, might not be involved in those plans.

Playing in the final year of a two-year, $3.4 million contract that carries an annual average value of $1.7 million against the salary cap, LaRose will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003, the 31-year-old forward has played the entirety of his career with Carolina.

Coming off a down year in which he only registered four points (two goals, two assists) and averaged 12:50 of ice-time per game, it appears his time with the franchise might have come to an end.

In terms of players Rutherford will look to retain, he mentioned the organization was pleased with backup goaltender Dan Ellis and would be interested in retaining his services next season. Ellis signed a one-year, $650,000 contract (including a $150,000 bonus, which brought his cap-hit to $800,000) with the team following the lockout.

Bobby Sanguinetti, Joe Corvo, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Tim Brent will also be unrestricted free agents this summer.

Rutherford commented the team will look to make changes next season, with the hopes of improving the defense and becoming tougher upfront. Jeff Skinner might be moved to center, which could impact the kind of moves taken this offseason.

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