Brett Pesce’s Father Bids Farewell to Hurricanes in Deleted Post

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce will become a free agent on July 1, 2024.

Getty Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce will become a free agent on July 1, 2024.

The Carolina Hurricanes saw their season end earlier than last year following their Game 6, 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday, May 16.

That means the members of the Hurricanes will take a few days to decompress and then return to work ahead of the next campaign, starting with the offseason and the upcoming free agency set to open on July 1, 2024.

Although Jake Guentzel is the best Hurricanes player slated to enter free agency on that date, defenseman Brett Pesce is a key member of Carolina’s blue line set to join Guanetzel in the open market.

Pesce’s father Brian Pesce posted a now-deleted message on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, that left everybody guessing if Pesce’s days in Carolina might have ended, as captured by Daily Faceoff’s Hunter Crowther on May 16.

According to Crowther, who archived Brian’s post before he deleted it by taking a screenshot of it, the blueliner’s father wrote the following farewell message.

“Thank you CANIACS for always being good to myself and the Pesce family! Will certainly miss all of you! GO CANES,” with the publication time set at 10:37 E.T. after the Hurricanes defeat against the Rangers was sealed an hour earlier.

Will Brett Pesce Leave the Carolina Hurricanes in July 2024?

It’s worth noting Pesce’s father didn’t explicitly mention his son’s upcoming free agency in his message.

Brett’s situation as a pending unrestricted free agent, however, sounded the alarms across the hockey world with Carolina on their way home and out of contention for the Stanley Cup.

Pesce just completed the final season under his contract with the Hurricanes. He signed a six-year, $25.15 million deal in 2018 ahead of the 2018-19 season with an annual average salary (AAV) of $4.025 million, according to CapFriendly.

Among the defensemen entering July’s free agency, Pesce holds the 13th-highest AAV, per CapFriendly data. Removing Vancouver Canucks’ Filip Hronek from the list (he’ll be a restricted free agent), Pesce’s AAV would rank 12th among upcoming defensive FAs.

If the Hurricanes don’t reach agreements with any of their pending free agents before July 1, the franchise will enter free agency with $28.13 million of projected cap space, according to PuckPedia. That figure, however, comes with the caveat that entering July 1 the Hurricanes only have 16 players (of a minimum of 23) under contract.

With the likes of Pesce and Guentzel expected to land larger contracts in terms of AAV than their current deals, it’s fair to assume that Carolina will have to make a few tough decisions and let some of their players, with Pesce potentially being one of them, go.

Brett Pesce Could, Coming Off a Career-Worst Season

With Pesce spending his full career with the Hurricanes, nothing indicates he’ll be actively looking for an exit and trying to move on from the only franchise he’s ever known.

The Canes drafted Pesce with the No. 66 pick at the start of the third round of the 2016 NHL draft. He debuted that same year in time for the 2015-16 season, logging 69 appearances as a rookie and averaging a sizable 18:46 minutes of playing time then.

This season, however, was Pesce’s worst career-wide. He played 70 games but he topped at 13 points (a career-low) scoring 3 goals and assisting 10. He also racked up 20 minutes in penalties averaging 20:17 TOI, his lowest per-game playing time since his rookie year.

Making things even more forgettable for Pesce in 2014, he could only appear in two playoff games with the Canes, both in the first-round series against the New York Islanders. Pesce suffered an injury in Game 2 and couldn’t make a comeback in time for the second-round series against the Rangers.

Pesce finished the 2024 playoffs with a total of 14:18 TOI through two games. He didn’t score a single goal but provided 1 assist while blocking 3 shots and completing 2 hits against the Islanders.

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