The Carolina Hurricanes finished 24th in the NHL, with a record of 36-35-11 for 83 points. They ended up 7th the Metropolitan Division and 13th in the 16 team Eastern Conference. They missed the playoffs for the 5th straight season and 7th time in 8 years since they won the Stanley Cup.
The Hurricanes organization knew it was in tough after the realingment dissolved the former Southeast Division and they were put into the Metropolitan.
- Jeff Skinner cracked the 30 goal plateau, finishing with 33 goals.
- Anton Khudobin proved to be a nice free agent signing in the off-season.
- Off years from the likes of Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty.
- Injuries and sub-par play to starting goalie Cam Ward derailed his season.
- Kirk Muller and the coaching staff was given their walking papers last week
PROGNOSIS FOR NEXT SEASON
The Hurricanes were never really in the mix for a playoff spot, and it is tough to see where small levels of improvement will get them that far ahead this year. The Stall brothers both need to get closer to a point per game and Semin needs to earn his $7M ticket. If the torch has really been passed in goal from Ward to Khudobin, it might be time to move the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner along if a deal can be found.
It figures to be a tough road ahead for the rebuilding Canes.
5 QUESTIONS WITH CARDIAC CANE
We asked Brett Finger, staff writer for cardiaccane.com a few questions about the Carolina Hurricanes’ season and future. Here are his responses:
1) What was the biggest surprise for your team?
The biggest surprise for the Carolina Hurricanes was definitely Andrej Sekera. When the Canes traded Jamie McBain and a second round pick in the 2013 draft from Sekera, I thought it was an even trade, but Andrej Sekera played like a top-two defenseman for the Hurricanes. He finished with a career high in goals (11), assists (33), points (44), and blocked shots (127). He also finished as a +4 on a team that finished well out of the playoff race. That is very impressive for a player in his first year with the team. Throughout the year, Andrej Sekera was solid in every area, and he turned into one of the team’s best players in the 2013-2014 season.
I’d say that Eric Staal was the team’s biggest disappointment. To his credit, he did lead the team in points at the end of the year with 61, but that point total was his lowest since his rookie season in the 2003-2004 season. Eric Staal is supposed to be the leader on this team, but he was unnoticeable very often when he was on the ice. He is supposed to be the best player on the team, but I do not think he was close being that player. You can blame injuries and other things for this, but he needs to be that big time player for the Carolina Hurricanes. He is expected to be a game changer, but he was not that this year. He will need to have a big bounce back season next year. The team goes as Eric Staal goes, and the team had a disappointing year, just like their captain.
5) What #hashtag would you use to describe your team’s season or state of the team?
My hashtag to describe the state of the team is #uncertainty. Uncertainty surrounds this organization from top to bottom. Ron Francis, new GM of the Carolina Hurricanes, has already fired Kirk Muller along with nearly the whole coaching staff, he’s meeting with AHL coach Jeff Daniels soon to talk about his future, “star” players Cam Ward and Eric Staal may not even be with the organization come preseason, and they have the 7th pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. The team is in a tough spot right now, and they have a lot of big decisions to make going into next season.
Thanks to Brett for taking the time to answer our questions. It remains to be seen what becomes of the Staal and Ward situations.