NHL Season Recap – Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes

2016-17 season: 36-31-15, 87

Did not qualify for playoffs

Head Coach: Bill Peters (2014)
7th Place Metropolitan Division General Manager: Ron Francis (2014)
12th Place Eastern Conference AHL Affiliate: Charlotte Checkers

ECHL Affiliate: Florida Everblades

Draft Position: Will have the 11th greatest odds in the NHL Draft Lottery

Top Forwards

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- C2F%
LW 24 Jeff Skinner 79 63 37 26 -3 51.4
RW 19 Sebastian Aho                                82 49 24 25 -1 53.2
C 23 Victor Rask 82 45 16 29 -10 50.7
C 28 Jordan Staal 75 45 16 29 -1 56.1
C 22 Elias Lindholm 72 45 11 34 -2 52.7
LW 22 Teuvo Teravainen 81 42 15 27 -6 54.9
RW 33 Lee Stempniak 82 40 16 24 2 50.6
C 30 Derek Ryan 67 29 11 18 -8 50.9
LW 22 Brock McGinn 57 16 7 9 -11 49.4
LW 31 Viktor Stalberg 57 12 9 3 -6 50.0

Top Defensemen

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
D 24 Justin Faulk 75 37 17 20 -18 52.5
D 22 Jaccob Slavin 82 34 5 29 23 52.8
D 20 Noah Hanifin 81 29 4 25 -19 50.7
D 22 Brett Pesce 82 20 2 18 23 53.8
D 35 Ron Hainsey 56 14 4 10 -16 50.4

Top Goaltenders

POS Age Name Games Started W/L Record Shutouts GAA Save %
G 32 Cam Ward 61 26-22-12 2 2.69 .905
G 29 Eddie Lack 18 8-7-3 1 2.64 .902
G 35 Michael Leighton 3 2-2-0 0 3.43 .870

Trades Made During the Season

What They Acquired Team They Traded With In Exchange For
2017 3rd RD Pick Ottawa Senators F Viktor Stalberg
F Danny Kristo

2017 2nd RD Pick

Pittsburgh Penguins D Ron Hainsey
D Philip Samuelsson Montreal Canadiens D Keegan Lowe
F Connor Brickley Florida Panthers F Brody Sutter

Impending Free Agents

POS Age Name 2016-17 Cap Hit
C 34 Jay McClement $1,200,000
G 35 Michael Leighton $700,000
D 26 Matt Tennyson $675,000
LW 24 Patrick Brown $650,000
LW 28 Andrew Miller $650,000
D 25 Dennis Robertson $650,000
RW 24 Brendan Woods $650,000
C 30 Derek Ryan $600,000
D 25 Philip Samuelsson $600,000

Draft Needs

  • The Hurricanes have 11 picks in this year’s draft, including seven in the first three rounds. While it is doubtful that they will draft in the top five, they have a strong chance to draft in the top ten and should be able to strengthen the future of their franchise.  The Hurricanes have the best, young defense in the NHL and that doesn’t even include Haydn Fleury, Trevor Carrick, Jake Chelios, and Noah Carroll, none of whom were regular NHLers this season.  They also have a young core of forwards with more on the way in the minors and have three young goaltenders in the junior leagues, one of whom should develop into a future starter.  Therefore, I think that the Hurricanes should either use their first round pick on a strong, puck-driving center, or trade that pick for an NHL-ready center.  One player they have been linked to is Matt Duchene of the Avalanche.  Colorado has made it known that they are open to trading Duchene, who would be an excellent fit with the Hurricanes, but want an NHL-ready defenseman, a prospect, and a pick in return.  Carolina has the NHL defenseman (Brett Pesce or Klas Dahlbeck), plenty of prospects, especially defensive prospects, and could give the Avalanche their 11th overall pick. It would be a great fit for both teams as Duchene could push the Hurricanes over the edge while simultaneously opening up spots on the blueline for prospects, and the Avalanche can strengthen their defense for the future.

What I Said About Them Before the Season

  • Prior to the season, I addressed the trade GM Ron Francis made to bring in forwards Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell from Chicago in a move to alleviate the Blackhawks’ cap situation.  I was very excited about the Teravainen deal as he is still very young and has shown an ability to score goals in the NHL.  I also raved about the team’s defense corps and how young, exciting, and talented they are, recognizing the group as the future of the franchise.  My one concern area for them was in net, where I wasn’t a believer in either Cam Ward or Eddie Lack. Ultimately, I wrote that the Hurricanes was a franchise moving in the correct direction and compared their rise to that of the Lightning.  I thought that the Hurricanes would compete for a Wild Card spot this season but that results this season aren’t important as this is a group playing for the future.  Sebastian Aho, Victor Rask, 

Success/Failure

  • Success – Carolina came very close to making the playoffs this season, despite not setting the playoffs as their ultimate goal this season.  They sold off two players (Ron Hainsey and Viktor Stalberg) with expiring contracts to playoff teams, getting two draft picks and a prospect in return.  That is an excellent move by Francis to continue seeing the future and not getting trapped by this season’s successes.  On the ice, this roster group developed further, both at the forward and defense positions.  Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm, Jaccob Slavin, Noah Hanifin, and Brett Pesce all had breakout seasons while Jeff Skinner eclipsed the 30 goal mark for the first time since his rookie season.  Head coach Bill Peters has continued to show that he is an excellent NHL coach, leading his teams to above 50% Corsi numbers in every season with the Hurricanes.  That is truly impressive considering how young his rosters have generally been.  I think he is quickly becoming one of the best coaches in the league and when he gets the team back to the playoffs he should be a Jack Adams Trophy favorite.  The Hurricanes’ biggest issue this season, as it has been for several seasons now, is their goaltending.  I questioned the team re-signing Cam Ward last offseason and my questions proved to be reality as neither Ward nor Eddie Lack were even league average goaltenders.  Ultimately, Carolina getting close to the playoffs was a massive success and puts the team as serious contenders going forward.

Offseason Needs

  • This is a team that has its core figured out for the most part.  They have at least six solid defensemen that most teams would kill for.  They have a solid scorer in Jeff Skinner and quality playmakers in Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho.  They still need that true number one center and I think that trading for Matt Duchene is the best way to acquire that player.  Duchene pushes the other centers down in the lines, slotting them into roles that are closer aligned to their abilities. It also allows the Hurricanes to open up a slot for defensive prospects and buys them more time as far as contracts go.  Carolina also needs another good NHL scoring winger to play in the top six.  T.J. Oshie, Thomas Vanek, and Justin Williams are just a few of the projected free agent wings that could be available this summer and I think the Hurricanes pursuing one of these on a short-term deal could be beneficial to them.  They will have to be careful, however, to not give a free agent too long of a contract and get stuck in a bad situation in a few years.  Finally, Carolina has to address its goaltending situation.  Ward and Lack clearly aren’t working for them and I don’t know if they can make the playoffs with either of these as their main starter. Both are under contract for next season yet, but burying one of them in the minors remains an option.  I think that the Hurricanes will absolutely show interest in the goaltending market this offseason and pursue one of Ben Bishop, Brian Elliott, or Jonathan Bernier.  I also think that they may reach out to Pittsburgh and test the waters on a trade for Marc-Andre Fleury.  The Penguins can’t be asking for much of anything in a trade for Fleury and he would help solidify that position for the Hurricanes.  They may even be able to send Ward or Lack back to Pittsburgh as a backup to Matt Murray.

*All stats and information came from hockey-reference.com, rosterresource.com, spotrac.com, NHL.com, hockeydb.com, capfriendly.com, tsn.ca, and eliteprospects.com*

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