The Carolina Hurricanes are not the only team who has had problems making the playoffs. With the Metropolitan Division being possibly the worst division in the NHL last season, the Canes caught many breaks and second chances that they still could not capitalize on. Other organizations have taken a more aggressive approach this offseason hoping to give life to their team once again. Some teams have not changed significantly, while others have started to become greater threats to the Hurricanes as they progress not only into next season, but into following seasons as well.
New York Islanders
The Islanders had some of the worst goaltending in the NHL last year, and the acquisition of Jaroslav Halak, should help the team out immensely. The Islanders possess some of the best defensive prospects with players like Griffin Reinhart and Matt Donovan.
The Penguins have made major changes to their lineup since the end of last season. They fired both Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero, allowing Jim Rutherford to become the Penguins new General Manager. One of their biggest acquisitions was Christian Ehrhoff. The Penguins hope he can fill the slots of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen. They have created more cap space and depth by trading away James Neal, and adding Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Some find this trade questionable.
New York Rangers
The Rangers have had a lot of trouble this offseason and this is partially because they had no choice but to buy out Brad Richards. Also losing Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle is taking a toll on the team and is leaving holes that need to be filled. The Rangers brought in the Veteran defenseman, Dan Boyle, which helps, but the team does not look like it has really done anything else to improve.
A lot like the Hurricanes, the Flyers have not made a big splash this summer. They did bring back R.J. Umberger, which gave some leeway for cap space. The Flyers need to shake up their defense.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets were another team who has stayed quiet throughout the free agency. They switched out R.J. Umberger for Scott Hartnell hoping he will be a better fit for the team. The Blue Jackets appear to be bringing more youth to the organization.
The Capitals made it clear that they wanted defense by obtaining Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. Brooks Orpik was pretty expensive, but he is bringing depth to their blue line, which was in need of change.
New Jersey Devils
They Devils made improvements by bringing in Mike Cammalleri as a catalyst for their goal scoring. They gave Corey Schneider a seven-year, $42 million contract,which means they will not have to worry too much about goaltending. They also resigned Jaromir Jagr. The team looks better and we should see a better season from them.
Since the Hurricanes have not significantly changed their roster, it appears that they are hoping to be successful by relying on the new coaching staff and the little depth that has been added. It is too early to say anything about the season, so we will just have to see how it plays out.