March 12 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Aaron Palushaj (17) controls the puck during the second period of the game against the Edmonton Oilers at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Grading The Offseason: Part One

The offseason is not completely over yet, but the free agent market and trading frenzy has come to a standstill.

The Carolina Hurricanes may not be done making moves, but they’ve made plenty of signings to help improve their roster.

Today, we’ll look at the offense and tomorrow will be the defense and goaltending.

Key Additions: Elias Lindholm, Nathan Gerbe and Aaron Palushaj

Key Departures: Chad LaRose, Tim Brent and Andreas Nodl

The Canes’ main addition for the offense will be Lindholm, who was drafted this year, but should play center on the third line.

Gerbe and Palushaj will fight for a spot on the team and will push others to fight harder with more competition. However, it’s also possible that neither of these players play a game for the Hurricanes this season.

The Hurricanes did not re-sign Chad LaRose, who remains a free agent. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the offseason, the main focus for Carolina was becoming bigger and tougher to play against, especially in the bottom six.

Unfortunately for the team, that was not done and instead will have to rely on younger players to step up.

It’s always possible that GM Jim Rutherford goes out and signs Brenden Morrow or another free agent to add grit in the bottom six, but so far that has not happened.

However, I will say it was smart to cut ties with Brent and LaRose, who were becoming non-factors on the team and whose roles could be better filled with other players.

The Hurricanes needed to fill a void in the bottom six, which was not done, but still managed to add a few players that will help the roster out. For that, I’ll give the team a grade of C+ for the offense.

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Tags: Aaron Palushaj Carolina Hurricanes Chad LaRose Elias Lindholm Nathan Gerbe

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