This offseason has been a little bit of everything for the Carolina Hurricanes. There has been some excitement, some disappointment, some action, and some standby; there has even been some disagreements in the clubhouse of the Caniacs. Now that the quietest part of the NHL calendar is in full effect, what’s the status? Well, it’s a positive outlook.
The Hurricanes just finished off their fifth consecutive postseason appearance, all without making it to the Stanley Cup Final. But, it was their fifth straight appearance, and are one of five teams with an active streak of five appearances or more.
That postseason appearance was likely shortened due to the absence of Andrei Svechnikov. He has returned to the ice in the month of July. He likely will not be 100% to start the season, but by the turn of the calendar he should be back to his old young self. With his return, the Hurricanes should really push for this year to be the year.
The offseason, the Canes showed they were making a push, and it started out red hot for the Canes. They signed Michael Bunting, Antti Raanta, Frederik Andersen, and Dmitry Orlov on the first day of free agency, later acquiring Brendan Lemieux, and if you haven’t heard, they also got Tony DeAngelo back after a one year hiatus in Philadelphia. All good signings, either based on talent, familiarity, or value.
There was also some non-action with free agency, such as not signing Vladimir Tarasenko. With the lack of salary cap, that’s okay. Not signing Tarasenko makes it so Don Wadell’s hand is not forced on a trade. If they signed a player and were $4 million over cap, the other 29 franchises would know the Hurricanes have to shed some salary before the start of the season, giving them the upper hand in any potential trade talks.
On the trading front, the Hurricanes were the interest kings for Erik Karlsson. That rumor has finally been deep sixed as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3 team trade with the Montreal Canadians. Caniacs can move past this knowing they were never all that serious on acquiring Karlsson due to his absurd contract and be glad we don’t have that salary cap nightmare.
The rumor of Karlsson has passed, but there is speculation that they are going to make some offseason moves. Some of their roster would make more sense than others to move, but there is also the chance that no moves are made. Who knows what the right decision is. In Don we trust.
And, why shouldn’t we have trust in Don? His extension of Sebastian Aho was as good as it could have been. It has secured the next Captain for the Hurricanes through 2032. And for less than $10 million average annual value. It was a deal that kept all parties happy, and removes a possible distraction for this 2023-2024 campaign.
Besides big additions and the huge extension, the Hurricanes have not had any big losses of any marquee players. They have only added, creating the best defensive lineup in the league with Orlov (and DeAngelo’s) addition. They have also added grit, not to mention some offensive weapons. They answered all of their larger problems from last season right off the rip.
The State of the Nation is great, and there is no reason to suspect otherwise. The Hurricanes have one of the best coaches in the league, a great GM, and talent for every line. Caniac nation is in a place other teams envy. Caniacs need nothing but to give the team full support and look forward to a great season.