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30 Teams in 30 Days - Carolina Hurricanes Written by Oilerfan4life - October 1st, 2009

Over the course of 30 days, yours truly is going to take a look at each team in the league, examine their off-season moves, assess the biggest issue facing the team, highlight a player or two to watch for, and finally give an outlook on the season.

Next up, the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina Hurricanes
Season 5: 49-26-5-2 (2nd in East, 1st in Southeast)
GM: AsmodeanReborn (2nd season with Carolina, 4th Overall)

Currently Projected Season 6 Roster:
(Incoming Player In Bold, Rookies In Italics)

Sullivan - Stastny - Doan
Laich - Sundin - Blake
Malone - Nichol - Reddox
York - Winchester - Kaspar

Seabrook - Mara
Seidenberg - Eminger
Gilbert - Tallinder


What They Did In The Off-Season:

It was AsmodeanReborn`s first season back in the CMHL and he started it off with a bang by taking the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Finals. Now success has always seemed to have found the Canes as they have won 5 playoff series in the last 3 years but this was their first Eastern Conference Championship. It was not an easy road however as every series was forced to 7 games. After a league maximum of 21 playoff games you can be sure the Canes players were exhausted. This showed as they were swept in the finals by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Although it was not the  finish many were looking for, it was a still a great achievement that 28 other teams could not accomplish.

Coming into the draft the Hurricanes skipped over the 1st Round and prepared for the 2nd where they had obtained 3 later picks. The first of these was used on yet another defenseman in Charles-Olivier Roussel. Interesting to note is the Hurricanes have never selected a forward with their 1st selection and Simeon Varlamov was the only player chosen 1st that was not a defenseman. Anton Lander and Eric Gelinas would round out the Hurricanes second round. With the draft out of the way attention was turned to Free Agency. Most notably Carolina’s own RFA’s in Ryan Miller, Tom Gilbert, and Daniel Girardi. Gilbert would be a relatively easy negotiation and sign fairly quickly. Miller took a little longer but eventually he was locked up for the next 3 seasons. Girardi would however prove to be a little harder to sign. When it looked like the two sides were closing in on a deal the Atlanta Thrashers threw an offer sheet at Girardi for close to $4 Million a season over 4 years. This proved to be a little too much for Asmo and he elected to take the draft pick compensation. Although Girardi is a big loss at the present time, the picks obtained could become very high and set the club up nicely in the future.

Now the biggest move this summer would be Jaromir Jagr retiring from the CMHL and heading to Russia to close out his career. This is a drastic loss for Carolina and when the opportunity came to fill his shoes in free agency the Canes decided to pass and save their money. Now the first move they made on the trade market took many in the league by surprise. They shipped out Danius Zubrus and their first round pick next season for defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and Liam Reddox. A rather surprising move since they lost Jagr and traded away another top 6 winger with none coming back in return. The clubs 1st line center Derek Roy would also be dealt to Phoenix for Paul Stastny. A lateral move that would continue to shake up the teams forwards. Also leaving the team in deals would be Brian Rolston, Andy Sutton, and Jack Hillen with Henrik Tallinder, Scott Nichol, Jason Blake, and Steve Eminger making their way into Carolina. The club hopes Eminger can replace Girardi’s minutes and production. Now the last move that Asmo would make would be to deal away Daniel Paille and Linus Omark for Ryan Malone. Now this is another deal that some might see as giving up a little too much but Carolina wanted a big body presence up front and Malone should be able to provide just that.

Biggest Issue Facing The Team:

With the loss of Jagr up front it would seem that Carolina’s biggest weakness will be putting the puck in the net. The team doesn’t have as much scoring depth as they had during their cup run and this could become an issue if any of the players that are counted on to produce run into any slumps. The team is desperately counting on Ryan Malone to produce the numbers he is capable of and allow their 3rd line to become a threat to score.

The rumour of Mats Sundin retiring is also an issue that would be another devastating blow to the team and the offense. Luckily for Carolina they have a nice collection of picks that they could move to bring in some help if needed. Either way the team will likely enter the season with what they have now and see how it goes before they pull the trigger on any big moves.

Player To Watch:

Brent Seabrook - Girardi and Seabrook were expected to be the long term future of this team on defense and with Girardi out of the picture this falls squarely on the shoulders of Seabrook. He broke out with 15 goals last year and has 3 consecutive seasons of 40+ points. This could be the year he hit’s the 50 mark and elevates his defensive play to that of a #1 defender.

Season 6 Outlook:

Carolina was easily the top team in the Southeast last year but could have a much stronger challenge this upcoming season. We see them taking a step back with the loss of Jagr and Girardi but they will still be a force to reckon with in the East. Look for them to compete with Tampa Bay and possibly Florida if they get their act together for the division title. Though there is the possibility that they might  not win their division, they have proven in the past that they don’t need to when it comes to playoff success.

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