Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg may not be a goner, after all.
Canes general manager Jim Rutherford said today that he has resumed negotiations with J.P. Barry, Seidenberg's agent. Seidenberg, an unrestricted free agent, went into the free agent market July 1 hoping for an increase on his $1.2 million salary last season but remains unsigned.
"We do have interest in Dennis," Rutherford said. "We had a conversation with J.P. on Friday and that door is open again.
"When we first backed away from Dennis, it had nothing to do with Dennis. It was with his initial request. We could not go to that level. He's been out there as a free agent and able to talk to teams, and now we're talking again."
Seidenberg, who turns 28 this week, had career highs in games played (70), goals (5), assists (25) and points (30) this past season. He led the team and tied for 17th in the NHL in blocked shots with 160, and ranked third on the team in average ice time per game (22:19).
Rutherford said the Canes still are considering other available free-agent defensemen. He said there had been no significant movement in the negotiations with defenseman Anton Babchuk, a restricted free agent with the Canes who has no arbitration rights.
Rutherford said it was possible the team could look to buy out the contract of defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, set to be paid $2.2 million next season in the final year of his contract. He said if the Canes opted to make that move they would pay two-thirds of the salary over a two-year period.
"It's not that we think Frank can't play anymore," Rutherford said. "But it would free up some cash and allow us to change the defense the way we want to and give it more of a physical aspect."
Rutherford said negotiations would continue this week with forward Tuomo Ruutu, a restricted free agent who has filed for arbitration.
"Hopefully we can get it resolved," he said.