The Carolina Hurricanes entered the season hoping their offensive strength would lead the team to the playoffs. With players like Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Alex Semin and Jeff Skinner, their top forward lines should be able to get it done offensively. The real problem for the Hurricanes is their defensive core.
The team only has one true defensive defenseman in Tim Gleason, and it has showed as they are ranked 22nd in the league with a 2.97 average goals against per game. Very few teams will make the playoffs, or do well in them, without an above average defense. Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford should try to find a defenseman that can help to fill their empty roles.
It is doubtful the Canes will look to give up too many assets for a defenseman. Robyn Regehr may be a cheap player Rutherford can grab from the Buffalo Sabres to bring defensive responsibility and physical presence to the Canes. The veteran defenseman could also help the team on the penalty kill.
Rutherford could go another route and grab a defenseman like Mark Streit from the New York Islanders. Streit is also a veteran defenseman but could provide some offense from the blue line. While Streit can play well in his own end, he could really boost the Hurricanes struggling power play. With Justin Faulk currently out, they are missing one of their first pairing power-play defenseman and could really use some help there.
The Hurricanes have battled through many defensive injuries and could always use more depth. With goaltender injuries as well, the Canes may need to make a trade to adjust their weak defense core if they want to make the playoffs.
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