Following their magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002, the Hurricanes failed to carry that momentum into the 2002-03 season. After a 15-15-5 start, the Canes went 3-25-4 between Christmas and the trade deadline, effectively making them sellers. They made two deals in the lead-up to the deadline. First, they moved Glen Wesley to Toronto for a 2nd Round pick in the 2004 Draft. Wesley recorded three points in seven games with Toronto and just one point in their postseason loss before returning to Raleigh in the offseason. He played four more seasons with the Canes before retiring in 2008.
The second deal the Canes made was a one-for-one swap with Colorado, sending them Bates Battaglia for Radim Vrbata. Battaglia didn't accomplish much with the Avalanche and was traded early the following season to Washington. He'd play two more years in the league with the Maple Leafs. He, along with his brother, would go on to win The Amazing Race in 2013. Vrbata, just 21 at the time of this trade, played his first full season in the NHL the following year, scoring 25 points in 80 games. He was traded early in the 2005-06 season to Chicago, and he'd go on to have a solid 16-year NHL career.
As for the pick the team received in the Glen Wesley trade, the Hurricanes wouldn't use it. On the night of the draft, which was taking place in Raleigh, the team traded that pick, 59th overall, and the 8th overall pick to Columbus to move up four spots. With the 4th pick, the Canes drafted Andrew Ladd. While he never turned into a superstar, Ladd played 16 years in the NHL. He won a Stanley Cup in his rookie season in 2006, won another with Chicago in 2010, and went on to become the captain of the Winnipeg Jets. He also greatly outperformed the two players selected by the Blue Jackets.