Skip to content

It’s Carolina Hurricanes day on PHT

Aug 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

Jiri Tlusty, Eric Staal, Andrei Loktionov AP

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Carolina Hurricanes.

In some ways, the Carolina Hurricanes’ offseason mirrored that of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that employs their former GM Jim Rutherford and enjoyed peak years with Carolina’s current GM Ron Francis.

While the Hurricanes haven’t enjoyed anywhere near the same success as the Penguins, both teams decided to make big philosophical changes by canning their head coaches and general managers. In the case of Carolina, they plucked first-time NHL head coach Bill Peters from the Detroit Red Wings organization to go with Francis.

The Hurricanes finished the 2013-14 season with a 36-35-11 record for 83 points, good for second-to-last in the Metropolitan Division. Thanks to that substandard finish, the Hurricanes nabbed Haydn Fleury with the seventh pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Despite that middling record, some nice talent (on paper) inspires at least a hint of optimism that Peters and Francis can right the ship.

Getting healthier seasons from Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner while finding ways to best utilize Eric and Jordan Staal would go a long way toward improving Carolina’s outlook. If Peters can find clever ways to mask what seems like a very shaky defense on paper, even better.

The other important factor is handling the goaltending situation properly. Anton Khudobin massively out-played Cam Ward last season, but the team hints at a platoon for an understandable enough reason: Khudobin is still fairly inexperienced and Ward’s trade value could use some improvement. Still, if Khudobin contiunes to provide starkly better netminding, the franchise will need to face tough questions about Ward (especially after opting against a costly-but-justifiable buyout).

The Hurricanes are a flawed team, yet there’s enough talent on the roster to envision a scrappy run to a playoff spot. Then again, another mediocre season is just as likely.

It all makes for an interesting team to ponder on Saturday, so let’s have at it.

Latest Posts
  1. After ‘disappointing’ road trip, is DeBoer on the hot seat?

    Nov 27, 2014, 1:16 PM EST

    Peter DeBoer AP

    Devils currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference.

  2. Flyers waive Akeson

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:29 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Played in 14 games over parts of the last three seasons.

  3. Report: Justin Schultz to be healthy scratch versus Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:17 PM EST

    Justin Schultz AP

    Following Tuesday’s “mind-numbing” change in Dallas.

  4. After 21-game absence, Fisher (ruptured Achilles) back for Preds

    Nov 27, 2014, 12:02 PM EST

    Mike Fisher Getty Images

    Big boost for Nashville, who hosts Edmonton tonight.

  5. With Luongo hurt, Panthers recall Ellis

    Nov 27, 2014, 11:18 AM EST

    Roberto Luongo Roberto Luongo

    Florida’s No. 1 left Wednesday’s game early.

  6. Flames won’t put timetable on Backlund (abdominal surgery) return

    Nov 27, 2014, 11:10 AM EST

    Mikael Backlund Getty Images

    Center had a career-high 18 goals and 39 points last year.

  7. PHT shares #WhyImThankful

    Nov 27, 2014, 10:59 AM EST

    Jaromir Jagr Sightings In Prague Getty Images

    Not listed: glorious gluttony.

  8. Flyers’ latest loss prompted players-only meeting

    Nov 27, 2014, 9:58 AM EST

    Braydon Coburn, Steve Mason AP

    “It’s pretty easy to see things slipping away,” Steve Mason said.

  9. NHL will hold hearing with Adam Lowry for boarding Patrick Kaleta

    Nov 27, 2014, 9:26 AM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    The hit generated a five-minute major and game misconduct.

  10. Lightning spoil St. Louis’ return to Tampa Bay

    Nov 27, 2014, 1:45 AM EST

    Martin St. Louis Martin St. Louis

    Callahan and Stamkos lead the way in win over Rangers.

  11. Datsyuk scores twice to lead Wings over Flyers

    Nov 26, 2014, 11:55 PM EST

    Pavel Datsyuk Pavel Datsyuk

    Returned after missing four games due to injury.

  12. Comeau and Crosby lead Pens over Leafs

    Nov 26, 2014, 11:05 PM EST

    Blake Comeau, Sidney Crosby Blake Comeau, Sidney Crosby

    The Pittsburgh captain reaches point No. 800 in the win.

  13. Video: Bob McKenzie discusses Alec Martinez contract talks

    Nov 26, 2014, 9:45 PM EST

    Alec Martinez Getty Images

    Also touches on Martin St. Louis’ return to Tampa Bay.

  14. Video: Panthers’ Luongo leaves game due to injury (Updated)

    Nov 26, 2014, 9:08 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    Appeared to hurt his left shoulder. Team calling it an upper body injury.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (2579)
  2. V. Hedman (2557)
  3. S. Crosby (2526)
  4. P. Sharp (2288)
  5. D. Krejci (2145)
  1. B. Marchand (1852)
  2. Z. Chara (1815)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1747)
  4. S. Varlamov (1692)
  5. B. Elliott (1674)