Canes offseason starts with clean-out day
Posted April 29, 2013
Updated April 30, 2013
For the fourth consecutive year, the offseason will be an extended one for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Just two days after their season finale, the Hurricanes are packing up their lockers for the summer instead of their bags for a playoff series. Midway through the strike-shortened year, they had thoughts of the latter.
“It’s not a good feeling,” said defenseman Justin Faulk. “It’s both years for me that we haven’t made it. It’s not fun. It’s tough that we are leaving on this note.”
Even in a down year for Carolina, there were bright spots. One of the brightest was Jiri Tlusty who set a career-high and finished fifth in the NHL with 23 goals.
“It was a really fun season for myself,” Tlusty said.”I enjoyed every time I stepped on the ice with these guys.”
After a 15-9 start, it all came apart for the Canes in mid-March. With Cam Ward already injured, the Canes blew a 2-0 lead at home against the Washington Capitals. That night marked game No. 1 of what would be two separate seven-game losing streaks in the weeks to come. There were only four more wins to be had the rest of the season.
“You know, I’d sum it up as being a frustrating and helpless feeling," said Ward.
“Over the summer, there will be some changes I’m sure,” said captain Eric Staal. “A fresh outlook.”
The offseason changes are likely to focus on defensemen. Losing Faulk and Joni Pitkanen to injuries during the year only sped up the team’s downward spiral - and highlighted their lack of blue line depth.
“Ultimately, the simplest explanation, is that we didn’t play well enough over a stretch that we had to,” said defenseman Jay Harrison.