Optimism, realism for Canes leaders looking at long offseason

Posted April 12
Updated April 13

— As Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters and general manager Ron Francis look ahead to an offseason started too soon – the team's eighth in a row without a playoff run – they have a shared sense of both optimism and realism.

"Our team is better now than it was a year ago at this same time," Peters said.

But a 36-31-15 record wasn't enough to secure a spot in the postseason.

"It warrants us taking a better look at everything and making sure we're comfortable with where we're at," Francis said.

He'll be busy considering which pieces to add and subtract, with the opportunity to participate in two drafts. The usual amateur draft will be supplemented this spring with an expansion draft, to allow the expansion team in Las Vegas to fill out their roster. That means players who might otherwise be protected will be available.

The Canes could also capitalize ahead of the amateur draft because they are stockpiled with trade bait.

"I'm going to have a good summer. I get to have time off now," Peters said.

"I don't think his time off is going to match mine. His phone is going to be ringing about picks, because people want picks," he said of Francis.

The team has 11 picks in this year's draft. Francis said seven of those would likely come in the top 80, to keep the Canes' farm system stocked.

"I hope to maybe use three of them, maybe two," Peters said.

And he has a wishlist. "I'm going to give very specific names," he said.

The most glaring need for the Hurricanes is in net, Francis said. The team ranked 18th in the league in goals allowed and 26th in save percentage.


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