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Hurricanes

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.

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Apr 30, 2:59 p.m.

    Hate to say it but babedan pretty much has it right. I like Larose and the energy he brings to... View More

    — Posted by common tater

    I like LaRose - he has a terrific work ethic; not sure why he didn't have a good year. Everyone seems to agree the Canes need to beef up their D. As for offense, they only had one line that could score - the first line. The PP was worse than ever, and it's been a weak point for years.

    As for Tripp, I don't think he adds much to the commentating - give me Forslund any day of the week.

    I like the Canes, and I think they have a core of good players who should be able to make the playoffs. I hope JR makes the changes necessary in the off season because next year will be harder to make the playoffs with the realignment.

  • wlcat609 Apr 30, 1:41 p.m.

    This off season will be very interesting..it will determine if the Canes continue to spend in order to put a winner in the PNC Arena...or will there just be more warm bodies in uniforms so the management can put YOUR hard earned dollars in THEIR pockets.

  • dbass Apr 30, 12:39 p.m.

    McBain, Pitkanen, and Peters aren't free agents until after next season. That being said, I'd be happy to get a bag of broken sticks in exchange for Pitkanen. Ellis is also a free agent - he didn't show me enough to keep him as a #2. But given the money they'll need to spend to get a decent D, they're unlikely to pay much to get a backup goalie (other than Peters). Time to say goodbye to LaRose and Corvo, I think.

  • ssi Apr 30, 12:39 p.m.

    Here are my thoughts. Win (hopefully), lose (hopefully not), or draw (eh), the Canes are without doubt a wonderful asset to this community. The team has brought much honor (Stanley Cup & All Star Game) to this town, and has exposed this region, in a very positive way, to the rest of the country and Canada. And the local charities, programs, etc., that the players have started or made their own, benefit folks, many of them kids, to no end. These guys are great positive role models for many youngsters.

    Obviously winning is much more fun and losing is disappointing. But even in defeat, the team remains a major plus for this area. I was a skeptic when the Canes first relocated here. I had never seen a professional hockey game, but I was won over pretty quickly.

    Players will come and players will go, but this is one old southern boy who hopes the team will remain here for good.

  • common tater Apr 30, 10:10 a.m.

    Hate to say it but babedan pretty much has it right. I like Larose and the energy he brings to the game...but they have to hire players that can produce. The bottom line is they always end up finishing around the same place in the league as the rating of the defense. Yes the D will look worse if the O lines aren't putting the pressure on as well...but they aren't going to win consistently without a quality D. Sad to see them give up 8 goals in the last game of the season...and the downward spiral in that game started with a rookie penalty(Jared). And the only reason they were tied is due to 2 goals from their enforcer Westgarth. On another note...is it me, or does Tripp make comments that are designed to keep him his job(nothing negative about a canes player)?

  • I am not who you think I am Apr 30, 8:46 a.m.

    clean-out day = front office....one can only hope

    Maybe they'll pull a Baltimore Colts and pull out in the middle of the night...we can hope for that also

  • Tunaboy Apr 30, 8:38 a.m.

    Jim Rutherford needs to conduct a clean-out day of his own and get some players who can put the puck in the net particularly on the power play

  • babedan Apr 30, 8:28 a.m.

    Hopefully, things start with Joni Pitkanen being traded or bought out saving us about 4.5 million. Then to go out and grab another scorer, maybe bring Matt Cullen back to play with Skinner on the third line, which does two things, It gives us a scorer and a PowerPlay Quarterback that we sorely need. And Cullen can come with about a $2 million price tag I do believe. Next find a shut down D-man by trading McBain and this team won't be too far from being a contender. Last, we need to look real hard at those in charlotte, Do they really belong in the NHL. Players like Dalphe, Boychuk, Nash etc. If they don't fit the new look Canes trade them for someone who does.

    Here are players that are Free Agents that we can afford to lose.

    Joni Pitkanen
    Joe Corvo
    Jamie McBain
    Chad LaRose
    Mark Bergeron
    Justin Peters

    That would give us approximately 13 million in cap space as things stand right now we have 7.6 million in cap space going into next season.

  • viking416 Apr 30, 8:05 a.m.

    good..Like I said after the strike ended, this is a bunch of underachieving losers...Hopefully... View More

    — Posted by 123dnih

    If you want to see what a real loser looks like take a look in the mirror

  • NothingButNet Apr 30, 7:23 a.m.

    This was a frustrating season, but I think they players worked hard for the most part. I'm sure they'd rather be on the ice than on the golf course. Injuries were a factor, but every team has them - look at the Pens still winning without Crosby. Hope JR can figure it out over the summer.

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