Conference Outlook: Carolina Hurricanes

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for The Broad Street Bully, a blog and podcast my friend Drew and I started based off of our mutual interest in the Philadelphia Flyers. See it on http://broadstreetbully.net.]

It’s that time of the year to take a subjective look at the teams that share the Metropolitan division with the Flyers.  As a Flyers fan, you’re aware of what the Flyers have done to make the team better this offseason.  But you may not know what other teams have done.  So, I went through the past articles from this offseason for every Metropolitan team and compiled a list of the moves that I think will affect the division standings the most this upcoming season.

Every team has signings and releases that they go through every offseason.  I’m not worried too much about every move the team has made since the season ended.  I focused more on the moves that I think will have the biggest impact on the team’s play next season.

After the jump, we look at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Out of all the moves the Hurricanes made this season, I think these are the ones that will have the biggest effect on the division:

The Hurricanes resigned Elias Lindholm.  This is a solid move.  Lindholm is a good, young forward.  And with a quick look at the Hurricanes’ current roster, Lindholm is probably the biggest name center they have behind the Staal brothers.  If the former first round pick keeps developing, the Hurricanes got a good player sured up in their system for the next couple years.

The Hurricanes also picked up James Wisniewski in part of a trade that sent Anton Khudobin to the Anaheim Ducks.  Wisniewski is a big body defenseman that has floated around the league.  He’s thirty one and the Hurricanes are his sixth NHL team.  When he plays, he’s a solid defenseman, though.  And he can hit.  So the Hurricanes certainly helped their back end.

With Khudobin gone, Eddie Lack was traded from the Canucks to the Hurricanes to be Cam Ward’s backup.  Lack, supposedly the heir apparent to Roberto Luongo, is now going to play second fiddle to Ward, assuming Ward stays healthy.

Final overview: The Hurricanes locked up one player they already had and got a defenseman who can help their defense corps somewhat.  There was also a backup goalie swap.  They were dead last in the Metropolitan division last year.  Did they make any notable moves to get considerably better?  Not really.  Can they get considerably better?  If their younger players, like Jeff Skinner, really step up their game then possibly.

Will they challenge for a playoff spot?  I don’t think so.  But the Hurricanes might be harder to play against.

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