The Carolina Hurricanes are talking about the playoffs, and there is a belief they have a legitimate shot at making the Stanley Cup tournament next season.
In their plight to get back into the post-season, the Hurricanes have managed to revamp their roster, both up front and on defence, with younger players, including the acquisition of 21-year-old forward Teuvo Teravainen from the Chicago Blackhawks. It was a move that included having to take on the remaining year of Bryan Bickell’s contract, which includes a cap hit of $4 million.
Teravainen joins a group of young, talented forwards that includes Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, and Sebastian Aho, who signed an entry-level deal in June. Julien Gauthier, taken 21st overall in June, is also signed to an entry-level deal.
But the changes have also meant the end of an era in Raleigh.
Eric Staal, who hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in just his second season back in 2005-06, was traded prior to the deadline. Before the deal that sent him to the New York Rangers, Staal had played 909 games of his career in Carolina.
The Hurricanes also committed once again to goalie Cam Ward for two more years at a $3.3 million cap hit, meaning they’ll go with Ward and Eddie Lack in net again next season. The duo experienced difficulties at points last season.