Canes general manager Jim Rutherford spent much of Saturday on the phone, fielding inquiries, talking about potential trades.

The Canes have the No. 5 selection in Sunday's NHL Entry Draft and Rutherford said, "There has been a lot of interest in our pick. If we do end up making a move, we would like to have a first-round pick of some kind. We have a few things to think over."

The Canes are looking to obtain a top-four defenseman before next season and Rutherford believes a trade, and not free agency, may be the most sensible way of doing it.

Defenseman Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins will not be re-signed by the B's, and Rob Scuderi of the Los Angeles Kings also is due to become an unrestricted free agent. But Rutherford said signing free agents usually results in giving long-term contracts with sizable salaries, making a hockey trade that moves salary more desirable.

A year ago, the Canes had the No. 8 pick in the draft in Pittsburgh but used it as part of the trade package -- along with center Brandon Sutter -- to obtain center Jordan Staal from the Penguins.