Filled with a bevy of talent, the Carolina Hurricanes have some familiar faces to count on entering the 2023-24 NHL season. Teuvo Teravainen has always been a player to lean on in the past years but last season was uncharacteristically bad for the veteran.
Not since the 2015-16 season has Teravainen played 60 or more games and produced a lower point total than last year. The 37 points were unimpressive and inconsistent at best.
Still, entering his eighth season in Raleigh, the 29-year-old forward is looking forward to a clean slate of a fresh, new season.
Was last season a fluke? I believe so.
Last year was one of those seasons that just never got on the right path for Teravainen and when things were looking on track, they weren’t. To his credit, the long-time Canes winger kept fighting through and getting back to the lineup.
No more proof than the playoffs where the Finnish forward was injured in round one against the New York Islanders and missed the entire series against the New Jersey Devils. He returned for the Eastern Conference Finals but was clearly rusty.
Despite the production not being there, the former first-round draft choice in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft fought and played responsibly in his own zone registering a plus 11.
After turning 29 last month, the former Chicago Blackhawk has plenty of good hockey left in his 5’11 body. His offensive skill flashed throughout the struggling season and his hockey awareness is never going away.
The stakes are certainly high for the Stanley Cup-contending, Hurricanes. But the stakes are even higher for Teravainen as he is entering the final year of his contract.
The Helsinki native is finishing his 5-year contract worth $27 million with a cap hit of $5.4 million.
Consistently producing 60 points or more, Teravainen has been a staple of this group of Canes since coming from Chicago. Approaching 600 NHL games played, he has proven his worth in this league and to this team.
However this season he will have extra pressure on him. If the Canes are going to win the Stanley Cup, Teravainen will need to return to that 60-point production. If a shiny, new contract with a raise(whether in Carolina or elsewhere) is in the books next summer, the Fin will need to bounce back.
The key will be getting off to a strong start and Rod Brind’Amour will need to put him in a successful line combination. Last season, Teravainen fell to the fourth line at times, which is no spot for his offensive gifts.