The Carolina Hurricanes have five games left on their regular season schedule, and while they’re still alive in the playoff hunt, it would pretty much require the team to win every game, while others like the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets to lose every game.
Putting it simply, it just won’t happen. It’s too little, too late.
So the question now becomes ‘how important are these last five games?’
Most fans would want a lower finish for a higher draft pick. Right now, the Hurricanes are 21st overall in the league, meaning they’ll probably get a pick in the top 10, but not as high as the fifth overall they had last season.
But while fans want that lower finish and a higher pick, aiding the organization’s future, is not want the current players are thinking about — and for good reason.
Nobody likes to lose, especially professional athletes, but the Canes players this year know that this summer in Raleigh could be a tumultuous one.
GM Jim Rutherford said he was prepared to make drastic changes if the Hurricanes weren’t successful and while it doesn’t look like he’ll be back next season, rumors are still prevailing in North Carolina.
Recently, Darren Dreger has suggested that the team would be willing to trade Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner, Cam Ward has been part of trade rumors all season and there are some important unrestricted free agents in Nathan Gerbe and Ron Hainsey.
In short, the players have a lot to worry about regarding their future with the team and these five games are five crucial ones where they can show their importance.
Playoffs may not be an option, but the Hurricanes’ players have a lot to play for in this final week and a half.