Skip to content

It’s Carolina Hurricanes day on PHT

Aug 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

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. Martin St. Louis resumed skating on Thursday

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:23 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v New York Islanders Getty Images

    The Rangers forward felt encouraged by this latest step.

  2. Yes, Krejci is back (and at RW)

    Mar 26, 2015, 7:03 PM EDT

    krejcigetty Getty Images

    He’s lining up with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to start.

  3. Pens say Ehrhoff will miss several days with upper-body injury

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:37 PM EDT

    Christian Ehrhoff AP

    A Vladimir Tarasenko hit shook him up on Tuesday.

  4. Signing Day: After getting Baun, Chicago inks Paliotta

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp - USA Blue v Finland Getty Images

    Vermont power forward was the club’s third-round pick in 2011.

  5. Here’s Ottawa’s ‘Don’t Throw Hamburgers’ PSA

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT

    BurgerPSA

    Featuring Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot and a guest appearance from Curtis Lazar.

  6. Report: Panthers ‘enthralled’ with Jagr’s performance, will look to re-sign

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:37 PM EDT

    Jaromir Jagr, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov Getty Images

    The 43-year-old has been a big influence on his young linemates.

  7. After healthy scratching Fowler, Ducks park Wisniewski

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Bruce Boudreau continues to “experiment” on defense.

  8. Marchand: If Bruins miss playoffs, ‘this is going to be a much different group next year’

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game Seven Getty Images

    “Hopefully we realize that, come together and allow this group to stay together.”

  9. Hextall insists he’s ‘on the same page’ with Snider

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:57 PM EDT

    Ron Hextall Getty Images

    “We are all thinking the same way and going the same direction.”

  10. Blackhawks win Kyle Baun sweepstakes

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:16 PM EDT

    Kyle Baun Getty Images

    Colgate standout inks deal, will report to team.

  11. Sharks add much-needed goalie depth, sign Wisconsin’s Rumpel

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:57 PM EDT

    Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Semifinals Getty Images

    Was a Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award finalist in 2014.

  12. Coyotes place Boynton on leave following casino incident

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Phoenix Coyotes v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and until the continuing legal process is completed, we will have no further comment.”

  13. Tampa’s prospect pool deepens as WHL standout Point signs deal

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

    Team Canada v Team Russia Getty Images

    He was the club’s third-round pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (2422)
  2. P. Datsyuk (2384)
  3. D. Byfuglien (2164)
  4. H. Lundqvist (2082)
  5. C. Price (1916)