From The Ice

Carolina Hurricanes Looking for Deals

Carolina Hurricanes Looking for Deals
Cat Silverman

The Carolina Hurricanes quickly earned themselves the nickname ‘Connorlina’ when they went winless for the first month of the season — and although they’ve been improving with the return of Eric and Jordan Staal, the team still has a ways to go.

Last off-season saw the Hurricanes look weirdly stagnant; general manager Ron Francis insisted that he had the makings of a winning team already in his lineup, but that’s fallen a bit short. This time around, he’s not making the same claims:

The Score’s Ian McLaren thinks that a number of decent players could be headed out:

“…names such as Andrej Sekera, Jiri Tlusty and maybe even Cam Ward could be mentioned in many a trade rumor over the next couple of weeks.”

Ward is the most obvious name on the list; with a number of teams looking to solidify their situations in net leading up to the deadline, the Canes could be a top target if the franchise decides it’s time to look to the future rather than focus on the present.

The Carolina Hurricanes are in twenty-eighth in the league; while they’re unlikely to remain that low in the face of a couple roster changes, the Eastern Conference franchise aren’t looking poised to climb any higher than a top five pick. They’ve toppled a couple good teams in recent weeks — most notably the Anaheim Ducks in a ferocious battle with the California powerhouse — but they also came dangerously close to losing to an injury-ridden Arizona Coyotes roster. With Mikkel Boedker and Martin Hanzal out, a regressing Mike Smith, and a number of AHL players holding long-term spots in Arizona’s lineup, a team that truly improved with the addition of the Staal brothers would have made easy work of the Coyotes.

What could they be looking for in return? Likely, they’ll want a healthy mix of mid-round picks and prospects; with few players worthy of first or second round picks on the trading block, the Hurricanes would be hard-pressed to bring in much of a haul if they aren’t willing to mix things up a bit.

Teams they could target, of course, are the ‘bubble’ teams — which all seem to be in the Western Conference this time around. The San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets, and Minnesota Wild are all in a fierce competition to see the post-season — and with newly acquired Jhonas Enroth backing up Kari Lehtonen in Dallas, the Stars could easily look lethal with the addition of a back-end defenseman.

With a handful of teams looking to blow it all up, though, the Hurricanes could surprise us all — and instead of selling at the deadline, Carolina could look to be one of the teams that stockpile for the future leading up to the deadline. They’ve got a roster that’s thisclose to being good — if they choose to make some wise investments instead of eyeing prospects, the Hurricanes could pose a true threat next season.

From The Ice
Cat Silverman
@catacarryon

Catherine is the first American in a long line of Canadians, making her the black sheep before she even decided she wasn’t going to be a Leafs fan. Her cousins may never forgive her for the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, but they’re at least glad she’s a rink rat, too. She’s a pretty terrible goalie, but she’s got a good grasp on the game from her seat on the bench.

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