Carolina Hurricanes: Who Makes The Team?

Preseason games are over and the 23-man roster has to be completed by Monday at 5 p.m. ET. It’s time the Carolina Hurricanes decided who makes the team and who doesn’t.

Here’s my take on the lineups and who makes the team:

Offense

Jiri TlustyEric StaalAlexander Semin

No explaining here. The Canes top line was decided before training camp and there’s nothing that’s changed that would break up the trio.

Nathan GerbeJordan Staal – Tuomo Ruuu

There’s a chance Ruutu may not be ready for the regular season, but if he’s healthy, this is the spot he’ll be in. Gerbe impressed in preseason scoring three goals and earning a spot on the second line.

Patrick Dwyer – Elias Lindholm – Jeff Skinner

Lindholm is a question mark right now, but I still believe he starts at the third line center spot. We’ll see if he lasts there. If he doesn’t, the Swede may return to his native country to play hockey in the SEL. Lindholm will also feel pressure from Riley Nash. Dwyer continues to be a reliable defensive player, while Skinner can help the scoring.

Radek Dvorak hasn’t signed a contract yet, but could make the Hurricanes. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Drayson Bowman – Riley Nash – Radek Dvorak/Kevin Westgarth

Bowman also impressed in camp and is a good option for the fourth line as he can move up and down the lineup. There’s no way Nash doesn’t make this team. I believe Dvorak is signed to bring some veteran presence to the bottom line and Westgarth will split time with him when the Canes need an enforcer.

Defense

Justin FaulkAndrej Sekera

This pairing will be a vastly improved top pairing from last season with the potential of being a great two-way factor in games.

Ron HainseyTim Gleason

I believe these two will play together because they can both handle over 20 minutes a game and a top four role. They should be good in their own zone, but breaking the puck out of the defensive end could cause some problems for the team.

Jay HarrisonBrett Bellemore
Seventh D-Man: Mike Komisarek

Bellemore has earned a spot on this team and over the veteran Komisarek. Harrison didn’t have a great preseason, but is a good bottom pairing defenseman. Komisarek will be a good option as a seventh defenseman and may fight his way as a regular in the lineup over the course of the season.

Missing The Cut

Not all players can make the team, even if they didn’t do anything to not earn a spot. These are the players that missed the lineup:

Ryan Murphy will likely start the season with the Checkers. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Corrente: Originally I thought Corrente would have a shot at making the team, but as a winger. He hasn’t played in the last two exhibition games signaling his cut from the roster.

Zac Dalpe: Another training camp and another miss for Dalpe. He’s been vying for a roster spot for years now, but again he could not nail down a spot. He’ll be a good scoring option callup if the Hurricanes need it.

Ryan Murphy: Murphy stood a shot at making the team before training camp and while he didn’t look bad, Bellemore looked better. Murphy will play for the Checkers, which I think is the best case scenario for him. If there’s an injury callup for a defenseman, he’ll be the first one.

Brett Sutter: Sutter made it farther than I thought he would and proved to be a reliable fourth-line center. If Lindholm does return to Sweden, my bet is Nash moves up to third line and Sutter takes the fourth-line center, so we may see him with the Canes sometime soon again.

Jeremy Welsh: Similar to Sutter, Welsh looked fine on the lower lines, but will miss out on a spot because of more impressive performances from other players. He could also be a frequent callup if the Canes need help on the last line.

Topics: Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Training Camp, Radek Dvorak, Tuomo Ruutu

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