Jan 11, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames right wing Lee Stempniak (22) battles with Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jussi Jokinen (36) at Scotiabank Saddledome. Penguins won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes Need To Add A Top Six Scoring Forward During The Off Season

One of the biggest problem for the Carolina Hurricanes this season has been there lack of production from the forwards at times.

It was rumored earlier in the year, when the Canes were still in the playoff hunt, that they were looking for a top-six scoring forward. Now that the Carolina Hurricanes are going into next season with a clean slate, they need to look into adding some more scoring to the top half of the lineup.

The Carolina Hurricanes rank 21st in the NHL in goals scored per game. Only two teams, the Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings, are playoff teams ranked in the bottom 10in the NHL in that category.

Obviously the bottom-six scoring has been a big problem for the Carolina Hurricanes this season, but the top-six has had trouble scoring at many times this season.

There are a few routes to take this offseason for the Carolina Hurricanes. They can go with some big name players, or they can go with some lesser name players that also have a good scoring history.

Big Name Players:

Marian Gaborik: 32-years-old, 9 goals, 13 assists, 32 games played in 2013-2014

Thomas Vanek: 30-years-old, 27 goals, 37 assists, 72 games played in 2013-2014

Jarome Iginla: 36-years-old, 30 goals, 30 assists, 74 games played in 2013-2014

Mike Cammalleri: 31-years-old, 24 goals, 19 assists, 57 games played in 2013-2014

Matt Moulson: 30-years-old, 21 goals, 25 assists, 68 games played in 2013-2014

(All stats and games played accurate as of 3/30/2014)

The big names above are probably not the right way to go for the Carolina Hurricanes. I think a Matt Moulson or a Thomas Vanek would be a great fit for the Carolina Hurricanes, but the price would likely be too high for the Canes.

If the Carolina Hurricanes can find a way to get a big name player at an acceptable contract, that would be a very good move, but it seems pretty unlikely that would happen. Teams will be willing to give out big money for lots of years for those players, and the Carolina Hurricanes likely won’t be one of those teams.

 

Other Options:

Devin Setoguchi: 27-years-old, 11 goals, 16 assists, 72 games played in 2013-2014

Jussi Jokinen: 30-years-old, 18 goals, 33 assists, 74 games played in 2013-2014

Radim Vrbata: 32-years-old, 20 goals, 29 assists, 73 games played in 2013-2014

Lee Stempniak: 31-years-old, 10 goals, 20 assists, 65 games played in 2013-2014

Ales Hemsky: 30-years-old, 11 goals, 24 assists, 66 games played in 2013-2014

Milan Michalek: 29-years-old, 14 goals, 21 assists, 73 games played in 2013-2014

(All stats and games played accurate as of 3/30/2014)

A couple of names standout on the “other options” list. Radim Vrbata is a great sniper, and he has posted multiple 30-goal seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes over the past few years. He could be a great addition to the Carolina Hurricanes top six and power play.

Ales Hemsky and Lee Stempniak are both players that could really help the scoring in the top-six with their play-making ability and ability to score. They are both known more for dishing out the puck, and that could be perfect for the Carolina Hurricanes top six that has plenty of players known for scoring goals.

Jussi Jokinen is a name that all Carolina Hurricanes fans know. We know that things did not end well between the Canes and Jokinen, but with Ron Francis likely coming in as new GM and a new head coach probably coming in also, he may consider coming back to Raleigh.

The Carolina Hurricanes have plenty of options this summer for scoring forwards. We will see if they go out and snatch up any of these players in July.

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Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Free Agents

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