All That Has Transpired: Carolina Hurricanes

To catch everyone up to speed on the offseason moves made by each Eastern Conference team, we will break down the additions, subtractions, and what to expect in the 2013 season for each team. Today, we take a look at the Carolina Hurricanes.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

2011-12 Season: 33-33-16, 82 points

(Fifth place Southeast Division, Twelfth place Eastern Conference)

Additions:

C Jordan Staal

RW Alexander Semin

D Joe Corvo

C Tim Wallace

D Marc-Andre Gragnani

Subtractions:

C Brandon Sutter (Pittsburgh Penguins)

D Bryan Allen (Anaheim Ducks)

D Brian Dumoulin (Pittsburgh Penguins)

D Derek Joslin (Vancouver Canucks)

Top Prospects:

D Ryan Murphy

C Zac Dalpe

LW Drayson Bowman

C Jeremy Welsh

C Victor Rask

After three straight seasons without playoff hockey in Carolina, Hurricanes’ general manager Jim Rutherford had to make some kind of splash in the 2012 offseason. He did much more than that as he acquired two forwards that could make a huge difference in the 2013 season for Carolina’s squad.

It was quite a summer for Jordan Staal, who won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. After Staal rejected a ten-year contract worth $60 million from the Penguins on June 21st, the trade rumors surrounding the 24 year-old center began to surface. The Hurricanes were linked to Staal immediately since Jordan’s brother Eric is the captain of the squad. It would give Jordan an opportunity to play with his brother in the NHL, which is something he had always dreamed of. One day after rejecting the offer from the Penguins, Staal was gone. On his wedding day, he was traded to the Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin, and the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, which was used to select Derrick Pouliot. The trade stunned the entire crowd in Pittsburgh at the Draft and will go down as one of the most memorable moments of the offseason. A week later, Staal signed the same deal (10 years, $60 million) he was previously offered by the Penguins with the Hurricanes. Staal may play on the same line as his brother and will be an assistant captain. The young forward recorded his highest point total of his career last season with 50. His numbers will continue to increase as he will get a much larger role rack up goals and points.

Rutherford was far from done after the Staal acquisition. On July 26th, the Hurricanes signed forward Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract. Semin, 28, scored 21 goals last season and recorded 54 points. That goal total was the second lowest of his career. However, Carolina believes that playing with the Staals will transform Semin back to the player he used to be. Semin scored 40 goals in the 2009-10 season and has topped 30 goals in three of his seven seasons in the NHL. There have been questions about Semin’s commitment to the game, but he is ready to change the public’s mind about that. There were rumors that Semin was unhappy with his role with the Washington Capitals, which may have triggered his desire to sign with another team this offseason. His $7 million salary is the highest of his career, an increase of $300,000 from last season. The Hurricanes certainly hope it will be worth it.

 

With players such as Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen, Cam Ward, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, and Alexander Semin, the Carolina Hurricanes certainly look better on paper than previous years. They did lose a great young leader in Brandon Sutter and will likely not have Tuomo Ruutu for the entire season due to hip surgery, but the team definitely upgraded in the scoring department as they hope it leads to their first playoff appearance since 2009.

Possible Lines/Pairings

Alexander Semim- Jordan Staal- Eric Staal

Jiri Tlusty- Jussi Jokinen-  Jeff Skinner

Drayson Bowman- Zac Dalpe- Chad LaRose

Anthony Stewart- Tim Brent- Patrick Dwyer

Other forwards: Tim Wallace, Zach Boychuk, Tuomo Ruutu (Injured)

 

Joni Pitkanen – Justin Faulk

Tim Gleason – Joe Corvo

Jay Harrison – Jamie McBain

Other defensemen: Ryan Murphy, Marc-Andre Gragnani

 

Cam Ward

Justin Peters

Brian Boucher

 

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