Today it’s the Carolina Hurricanes; the team I’m a fan of. Their 2013 season started out great, but was tarnished by injuries. They were 15-9-1, winning 6 out of 7 games, when Cam Ward’s injury caught up to them. They came from first in the southeast to one of the last, losing 14 out of 15, and finishing the season 19-25-4. It was another heart-breaking season, but their record does not explain what kind of team they are. Even with poor defense, they are a good team when healthy. If the divisions were the same this year, I believe they would finally end up in the top 3 in the East for the first time since 2006, and end the 4 year playoff drought. The realignment will make it very difficult, though.
The Canes ended up 27th in defense, but, even though it didn’t show on paper, had great offense. They held one of the most lethal lines in hockey (Semin- E Staal- Tlusty). Only problem was that they were the only ones who showed up every game.
Their offseason was pretty successful. They drafted future allstar Elias Lindholm, who will most likely play this season. During the draft, they parted ways with McBain, receiving Sekera from Buffalo in return. This was the first step to a better defense, as Sekera is a top 4 defenseman. In free agency, the Canes signed the 6’4″, 243 lbs defenseman Mike Komisarek, which was a very good move. He is a physical, top 6 defensive defenseman, who will also help in the defensive end. Another problem Carolina has had is the inconsistent backup goaltending. Grabbing Khudobin was a great step in filling that void. The one last piece they need is a solid 3rd to 4th line forward. One free agent that would fit the criteria is Brenden Morrow, who has been talking with them. If they can sign him or any other solid bottom 6 forward, they could be a threat.
The Canes have a good team, but the playoffs are nowhere near guaranteed. If they make them, they’ll probably end up in one of the last two spots.