Apr 11, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Elias Lindholm (center) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring as Detroit Red Wings wing Luke Glendening (41) reacts in the first period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Key Players Need to Step Up

The Carolina Hurricanes have several players who are being paid like superstars, but are not performing like them. Jim Rutherford’s tendency to over-pay has put this team in a tough situation, and current GM, Ron Francis, is currently in the midst of rebuilding.

Eric Staal may be the Captain and the team leader in points, but he is definitely not living up to his $8.25 million per-year contract. He racked up 61 points last season, while only missing 3 games. Something needs to be fixed because he totaled 100 points in his 2005-2006 season has not come close since. I am hoping that this is an effort issue and can be straightened out with the new coaching staff.

Alexander Semin needs a break-through season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Semin is a lethal sniper, but because of illness, concussions, and a season-long wrist injury last year, we did not see his full potential. He is a crucial part of the Canes lineup and if he stays healthy, he will play a big role.

Cam Ward has 47 games played and 19 wins in the past two seasons. Does this sound like a player who should be making $6.3 million? Many Canes fans know how great of a goalie Cam Ward can be, but he has not played to the standards many hold him to, and fans are becoming restless. If he can stay healthy and have a respectable season, he and Anton Khudobin should make a great pair and this would give the Carolina Hurricanes some of the best goaltending in the NHL.

Young players like Justin Faulk, Jeff Skinner, Ryan Murphy, and Elias Lindholm are the Hurricanes’ future. While they are still developing as players, they have gained a great deal of experience. They can either make or break this team, so they need to step up and help lead the way.

The list is not limited to what you see here. As a Caniac, I am tired of seasons that end in April. This Organization is relying on these players to form a playoff team.

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Tags: Alexander Semin Cam Ward Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal Ron Francis

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