A Quiet Week One
After the first week of NHL free agency the Carolina Hurricanes have remained quiet. With strong skills and a lot of money moving around the league this past week, the Hurricanes’ brass decided not to change up the main personnel from last season.
The Team Brought in Some Depth
Bottom six players Brad Malone, Jay McClement, and Ben Holmstrom were added to bolster the rosters depth. The team also decided to bring back Jiri Tlusty and Tim Gleason who were on the last season’s roster. Back up goalie Justin Peters signed with Capitals, leaving two seasoned goalies in Anton Khudobin and highly discussed veteran Cam Ward on the roster. They also signed goalie Drew MacIntyre to a two- way deal for a year. Jared Staal, Michal Jordan, Zach Boychuk, and Greg Nemisz were brought back to compete in training camp. New coach Bill Peters, and GM Ron Francis along with the rest of the team management have showed the fan base that they believe in the players they currently have on the roster. I think that the talent already on the roster is at an abundance, and the faith management has in these players will pay off.
The Talent is already here
The Carolina Hurricanes already have proven productive NHL players. Jeff Skinner had the best scoring season of his career last year with 33 goals. Skinner will continue the prime of his career and be the go to goal scorer for the team next season. The Staal brothers may have struggled recently but I think both still have a lot left in the tank for the upcoming season under new coach Bill Peters. Alexander Semin will continue to be a productive NHL goal scorer, and Elias Lindholm is a young prospect that can really make an impact in a big way in the upcoming season. Having two NHL-proven goalies is trouble all NHL General Managers wish they had and the Hurricanes still have a young talented defense that has gritty veterans sprinkled into the group. The Hurricanes have the skill to compete for a playoff spot in 2014.
More About the Positives
The past few seasons Stanley Cup winning teams like the Los Angeles Kings have showed how far gritty hard-working depth can push a team with great top six talents over the top. It has also shown that teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins can have all the top-six talent in the world but be brought down by a terrible bottom two lines. The Hurricanes have proven offensive threats on their team, and this offseason was spent bringing size, strength, and hardiness to the rest of their team. The team didn’t have a lot of cap space and it was smart not try and stretch there cap with a risky over payed free agent signing.
The Season Will Tell…
It looks like the Canes will move forward into the next season with basically the same team as 2013. A monumental trade could happen this offseason, but a trade that monumental doesn’t seem like it will happen. Ron Francis maneuvered this off-season with tight cap space, and put together a bigger, tougher team then last season. Bill Peters will be given the task of composing a system where players like Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk can continue to succeed. He will also be tasked with adding some life back to the games of Jordan and Eric Staal. Will Bill Peters system mesh well with current roster? Fans will have to wait till October to find out.
Philip is a Sports Journalist covering the Pittsburgh Penguins. Duquesne University Journalism Grad 2013.