After reaching the peak of the NHL mountain, the honeymoon ended early for the Hurricanes the following season. They weren't able to replicate their success, leading them into a dogfight in the second half. At the deadline, they were scratching and clawing to crack the Top 8. They brought back Josef Vasicek from Nashville after trading him to the Predators during the offseason.
Vasicek played 38 games with Nashville before his return to Raleigh, in which he scored nine points in 25 games. In exchange, they sent Eric Belanger, who they'd acquired from Los Angeles in September. Belanger was traded to Atlanta the next day, where he recorded 15 points in 24 games.
Their second move was the acquisition of Anson Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 5th Round pick in 2008. Carter had been playing well for Columbus, but he managed just one goal in ten games in Raleigh. The only saving grace is that Columbus' pick didn't accomplish much either. Neither trade had its desired effect as the Canes stumbled down the stretch, finishing four points outside of a playoff spot and failing to defend their crown.