Carolina Hurricanes 2008 Offseason Report
The Hurricanes have failed to make the playoffs in 2 consecutive seasons since winning the Stanley Cup in 2005-2006. This year the Canes simply blew it. Carolina has the best overall team in the weak Southeast Division and should at least be making the offseason every year. All they needed to do this season was win 1 of there last 3 regular season games to be in. Instead, the Canes chose to take their 43-33-6 record home early for the summer is disappointing fashion.
I am always looking for excuses for the under achieving teams and Carolina is no different. The injury bug did hit the Canes on a major part of their top players. Ray Whitney has 199 points in 210 games with the Hurricanes and he missed 16 this year, while team fossil fitness freak, Rod Brind’Amour was out for 23 games. On top of that, Matt Cullen, Scott Walker and Justin Williams combined for 92 injured games and the unsuccessful year becomes explainable.
The Canes actually score a lot of goals, finishing the season with 252; 4 th best in the Eastern Conference; but when they lose though, they lose big. This is because of their very bland defense that does nothing offensively. Of their top 6 blue liners, only Joe Corvo is a respectable quarterback, but he joined the team in February. Corvo scored 13 goals and 48 points this season while the 2 nd best defensive point getter was Frantisek Kaberle with only 22 point, but 0 goals.
Thank goodness for Carolina that Eric Staal was the only player healthy enough to play in all 82 games and led the team with 82 points. He must learn to grow more awareness on the defensive side of the ice to become a real top player in the NHL. The Canes are really deep in the forward position while keeping well under the salary cap, but they have to resign many important players. Also, Carolina is pretty strong in the net with Cam Ward and newly signed Michael Leighton. Ward had an excellent year going 37-25-5 with 4 shutouts but did let in nearly 3 goals a game.
> Pro Hockey Fans now features Carolina Hurricanes apparel available in our Fan Shop!
Notable top players staying for the Carolina Hurricanes:
- Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Rod Brind’Amour, Justin Williams, Matt Cullen, Scott Walker, Joe Corvo.
Carolina Hurricanes - Notable free agents (restricted and unrestricted):
Chad LaRose, Tuomo Ruutu, Patrick Eaves, Bret Hedican
What Carolina has:
Lots of quietly talented forwards, solid net-minding and great coaching from Peter Laviolette.
What Carolina needs:
- They do need more offense from the defense. A good skater in the back would be a great acquisition for the team, but what do they have as trade bait. To get a good secondary d-man they would have to give a good secondary forward. Cole or Williams would be sufficient enough to get what they need.
A few more fans at the games may help too.
Expectations for the Hurricanes next year:
- Playoffs, maybe past 1st round. The Canes will overtake the Capitals in the Southeast Division to regain the 3rd seed in the East. Carolina has the potential to be a dark horse in the NHL with the help of a few more defenseman and a healthy team.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
Want to add your comment to this article? Leave your comments on our NHL blog today!
> Follow the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs online with Pro Hockey Fans!
> Find all of the NHL news & articles online from Pro Hockey Fans.