April 5, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) against the Montreal Canadiens at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Canadiens 2-1 in the shoot out. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes Season Preview

Last Season:

 For the 2011-2012 season the Carolina Hurricanes missed the playoffs placing 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 32-32-16 record (.500).  They only missed a playoff spot by 10 points, but it was the third time in a row that they fell short after falling to the Penguins in the Conference finals in 2009.

It Was Nice Knowing You:

  • Bryan Allen:Signed by the Ducks in July to a three-year deal to help add to their defensive depth.  He had 1 goal and 13 assists in 82 games played for Carolina last season.
  • Brandon Sutter: He was involved in the great trade for Jordan Staal.  He posted  3 assists in 15 games with the Hurricanes last season.
  • Brian Dimoulin: Dimoulin is a young prospect coming up through the ranks and was traded to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal.
  • Jaroslav Spacek: Drafted in 1998 and spent his last season with the Hurricanes before announcing his retirement.  He posted 5 goals and 7 assists in 34 games with the Canes last season.

Wait, Who Are You?

  • Jordan Staal: After one of the biggest upsets to Pittsburgh fans, the Hurricanes signed Jordan Staal to a 10-year contract.  He will appear on the same line as his brother Eric Staal and provide solid two-way hockey.  For Pittsburgh he registered 25 goals and 25 assists in 62 games played.
  • Alex Semin: Signed to the team in July to a one-year $7 million contract, spent his off-season playing in the KHL.  He is expected to be back for the beginning of the season, despite rumors stating otherwise.  He registered 21 goals and 33 assists in 77 games for Washington.
  • Joe Corvo: Signed in the off-season to a two-year deal from the Boston Bruins.  He registered 4 goals and 21 assists with the Bruins and helped them advance to the first round in the playoffs before being eliminated by the Capitals.
  • Marc-Andre Gragnani- He’s spent his time with the Checkers this season posting 1 goal and 13 assists in 20 games before being sidelined with an injury.

Stepping It Up:

With a total of one goaltender, two defensemen (including Faulk) and three forwards (including Bowman) being needed to fill in the gaps, there are going to be some in-depth looks at the members of the Checkers. While no names have been recalled to join the team at training camp, don’t be surprised to see names like Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh  on the list. Justin Peters and Dan Ellis are both notable candidates to fill Boucher’s skates while he is sidelined with a groin injury, as they have been similar by comparison in numbers for the Checekrs this season.

The Perks:

With the signing of Staal and the combination of him with his brother, there is no doubt that we will witness some greatness out of this transaction.  He will be able to skate out from the shadows of Crosby and Malkin and make an even bigger name for himself as he embarks on his seventh professional season.

What To Worry About:

There is no doubt that the Hurricanes added some offensive depth in the off-season to make them standout with the additions of Staal and Semin.  However, the two are going to need a few games to adjust and with a shortened season that could make or break the team who desperately needs to get back into the playoff race.


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