Wednesday, July 20, 2005
O'Neill would welcome change
Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff O'Neill thinks his time in Carolina is coming to an end. If it does, his preference is to play in Toronto.
According to the Raleigh News Observer, O'Neill - who is a restricted free agent - does not expect the team to tender him a qualifying offer. If the team does not make an offer, O'Neill would become a free-agent.
"If it's somewhere else, then who knows? It might even be a good thing to have a little bit of a change of scenery," O'Neill told the Observer. "It might revitalize my career. ...It might be a shot in the arm. If I'm back there, I'm back there. We'll see. It wouldn't surprise me if I wasn't back, let's put it that way."
O'Neill who has spent his entire career with the Hurricanes franchise mentioned that given a choice his preference would be to play with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"To be honest, if I was a free agent, I'd try to find a way to make it work in Toronto," the 29-year old said.
In order to keep him, the Hurricanes have to qualify O'Neill at $2.8 million, which would make him Carolina's second-highest paid player.
O'Neill was selected by the Hartford Whalers fifth overall in the 1994 Entry Draft. In 673 games he has 198 goals and 218 assists.