The Carolina Hurricanes aimed higher than ever before when NHL free agency began Sunday -- at Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
The Canes made offers on both All-Stars and missed on both, which was disappointing for the organization. Suter's camp informed the Canes on Monday morning that Carolina no longer was on Suter's list, general manager Jim Rutherford said today.
But even though they went 0-2 on the two biggest names in free agency, the Hurricanes were "in the game" this year, Rutherford said, adding that the Canes will keep pushing to acquire a scoring winger.
"We entered the process this year understanding we were not the only team in the game," he said. "Looking at those two players, a lot of teams were in the game. And there were some big-revenue teams that were in a stronger position to structure the kind of deal (Parise and Suter) are looking for.
"We entered into the process hoping we would have enough criteria to get one of those players to come here. And if not, we'd keep pushing. It was a different step for us, and now we'll keep trying."
The Canes signed defenseman Joe Corvo to a one-year contract Sunday and Rutherford said today he did not expect to add another defenseman in the offseason.
"We like the balance we have on defense," he said. "We're comfortable with our defensive structure."
But the Canes still are looking to pick up a top-six forward, either in free agency or through a trade. Rutherford won't mention Rick Nash by name, but the Canes are believed to one of the teams pushing hard to work a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the All-Star forward.
"We will continue to try and add a good forward," Rutherford said. "It may take one week, one month or it may take one year. But it's something we believe we need to be a contending team. I have no idea when we will get that forward, but we need to be prepared to do it when the time comes."
In other team business, Rutherford said the Canes would not be buying out any other contracts. The Hurricanes recently decided to buy out the contract of defenseman/forward Derek Joslin.