Mid Summer Report: Carolina Hurricanes

download (26)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  35-31-16, 86 pts, 6th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Teuvo Teravainen (Trade)
  • F Bryan Bickell (Trade)
  • F Viktor Stalberg (UFA)
  • F Andrew Miller (UFA)
  • F Lee Stempniak (UFA)
  • D Matt Tennyson (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Michal Jordan (UFA)
  • D James Wismiewski (Tampa Bay)
  • F Nathan Gerbe (NY Rangers)
  • F Riley Nash (Boston)
  • F Chris Terry (Montreal)
  • F Brad Malone (Washington)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Sebastian Aho
  • D Ryan Murphy
  • F Derek Ryan
  • F Brendan Woods
  • D Haydn Fleury

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $56,445,831
  • Current salary cap space: $16,554,169

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, Bryan Bickell, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, Lee Stempniak, Viktor Stalberg, Joakim Nordstrom, Jay McClement, Andrej Nestrasil Teuvo Teravainen, Phillip Di Guiseppe, Brendan Woods, Derek Ryan, Sebastian Aho
Defensemen
Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Ryan Murphy, Matt Tennyson
Goalies
Cam Ward, Eddie Lack

 

Outlook:
Carolina is one of the lowest budget teams in the NHL.  Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, Attendance at the PNC Arena has been in steady decline, despite the Raleigh-Durham area being one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S.  The attendance decline can be attributed to their lack of success on the ice.  They have missed the playoffs for the last 7 years, and 9 of the last 10 years.  When the team is that bad in a market that has to compete with some of the best college basketball teams in the country, it’s no surprise that attendance is as low as it ever has been in Raleigh.  But, that is going to change soon.  All those losing seasons have given them a lot of high draft picks, and they have not wasted them.  They have quietly assembled a nice young group of players that should develop into a real strong team in a few years.  At an average age of 25.3 years old, the Canes are one of the youngest teams in the NHL, if not the youngest.  If Carolina can get their ownership situation resolved, (Owner Peter Karmanos has been trying to sell the team for years), and hang on to this young group after they mature into big boy contracts this team will be a Stanley Cup contender one day.  Just not this year.  Expect more growing pains in the short term.