Local News

Canes Have an Eye on Iafrate

Posted July 8, 1998

— The Hurricanes are trying to lure San Jose defenseman Al Iafrate to Carolina. He's been injured a lot, but is considered one of the best big guys in the NHL.

Al Iafrate is one giant defenseman. He weighs in at 240 pounds, and he knows how to move guys away from the net.

"A healthy Al Iafrate is the best defenseman available," says Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford. "The question is, is he going to be healthy?"

Health is an issue for Carolina. Iafrate only played in 21 games last season because of bad knees. The 'Canes do have a plan if Iafrate can't play.

"I think we can be very creative and structure a deal based on games played," Rutherford explains. "If in fact he plays his 80 games for us, and he plays the way he is capable, he may still very well end up making between two and three million dollars. We're not going to have to risk as much money. What we're risking is whether or not Al Iafrate will be healthy enough to help our team."

Bad knees or good knees, it really doesn't matter. If the 'Canes sign Iafrate, he'll be a leader on or off the ice.

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