With the Carolina Hurricanes already underway in their training camp endeavors, it’s about time to drop the puck on a new NHL campaign. With the Hurricanes following up on their first division title since 2006 (albeit in a division that they are not usually competing in), the Canes will be trying to find success in alternate formats for this upcoming season.
Carolina return to the Metropolitan Division this year, after being separated from the bulk of this division when they were moved into the central last year. With the Canes looking to capture more than just a division title in this upcoming season, let us have a deep dive into their strengths, weaknesses, and what needs to go well for the Canes in order for the team to see success.
Obviously, we start with the new faces in Raleigh, and the notable losses from last year’s roster, and has there been a lot of changeover on this roster or what? The core remains the same, but almost all the supporting pieces have been changed in some way or another. Only the core remains from that miraculous 2019 Eastern Conference Finals run.
Key additions: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ethan Bear, Ian Cole, Anthony DeAngelo, Josh Leivo, Derek Stepan, Brendan Smith, Antti Raanta, Frederik Andersen
Key departures: Dougie Hamilton, Alex Nedeljkovic, Petr Mrazek, Brock McGinn, Warren Foegele, Cedric Paquette, James Reimer
Something that should stand out right away is that there are two new netminders in Raleigh. On top of that, half the defensive unit has changed and that will prove difficult in its own right. Forwards changing has been a theme in this league since the dawn of time, and even a change of a few defenders or a goaltender isn’t a big deal, but this much turnover is worth noting.
Furthermore, the Hurricanes have had some coaching changes. Tim Gleason replacing Dean Chynoweth as the defensive and penalty kill coach on the bench, with Gleason leaving his role as coach for development regarding defenseman, or the defensive system of players. Gleason’s job is not glamorous, but it’s a job that needs to be done. You cannot win the Stanley Cup with a makeshift D core.
With the changes accounted for, we look towards the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and what this team needs in order to become a successful hockey club. Right, now with all of this out of the way and said, let us take a deep dive into what makes this team so strong. What can you rely on night in and night out if you’re watching the Canes this season?