Apr 25, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT
The Carolina Hurricanes had a 15-9-1 record before they completely collapsed, losing a remarkable 17 of their next 19 contests.
After adding forwards Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin over the offseason, Carolina will end up with their worst points percentage since they last made the playoffs in 2008-09. All the same, Hurricanes captain Eric Staal likes the changes the team made last summer.
“Too many years in a row, no question,” Staal told the News & Observer. “But I believe wholeheartedly we can get the places we want to go and where we want to be.
“I feel like we’re in a better situation now than, say, two or three years ago when we missed the playoffs by one game. I still think that we’ve got some excellent pieces and we’re going the right direction where we can be extremely successful for a long period of time. It’s a matter of doing it.”
The Hurricanes have to hope that they already have the pieces in place for a playoffs run, because they don’t have much wiggle room heading into the summer. They’ve already committed $56,650,000 to 17 players, according to Cap Geek, so a major upgrade would take some creativity.
Still, they can add some complimentary parts, like a veteran backup goaltender. The Hurricanes’ collapse this season roughly corresponded with netminder Cam Ward suffering a third-degree MCL sprain.
The Hurricanes will also probably be looking to bolster their defense over the summer and one of their top-tier prospects, 20-year-old blueliner Ryan Murphy, should get a serious look during training camp.
It’s also worth noting that next season the Hurricanes will move from the relatively weak Southeast Division to Division D next season.
Carolina’s division rivals will consist of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Columbus, New Jersey the New York Rangers, and New York Islanders. That’s very tough competition and will make ending their playoff drought even harder.
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 9
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 6
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 26
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 42
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 38
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 69
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Lucic regrets handshake-line actions, but isn’t apologizing (58)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)