5 Players the Carolina Hurricanes Should Build Around in 2014

5 Players for the Carolina Hurricanes to Build Around in 2014

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After acquiring Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin, many Carolina Hurricanes fans hoped they would become a postseason regular but have been left disappointed. If the Canes want to make a run back to the Stanley Cup Finals, here are five guys they must rally around in 2014-15.

5. Jeff Skinner

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5. Jeff Skinner

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Eric Staal may be the face of the Carolina Hurricanes, but Jeff Skinner is the Robin to Staal's Batman. There's no question that the captain is going to continue to produce, but if Skinner can find a way to exceed 80 points in the 2014-15 season, he will be the one who the rest of the guys will rally around for big goals at crucial moments.

4. Andrej Sekera

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4. Andrej Sekera

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Considering Carolina isn't the largest hockey market in the United States, many people might not have noticed the season that Andrej Sekera had last year. His 44 points during the 2013-14 regular season were tied for 15th most among blueliners, and his plus-4 rating was the highest among the Hurricanes' regulars. Sekera has asserted himself as a promising defenseman and has become a rallying point for Carolina.

3. Nathan Gerbe

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3. Nathan Gerbe

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Nathan Gerbe was re-signed to a two-year, $ 3.5 million extension on Wednesday, which proves that management has faith in the former Hobey Baker Award finalist. Gerbe may never wear a letter in Carolina, but he leads by example on the ice and is the type of player everyone can rally around when he is producing offensively.

2. Elias Lindholm

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2. Elias Lindholm

2013 NHL Draft - Portraits
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He needs some work in the defensive end, but if Elias Lindholm can develop into a solid second-line center for the Hurricanes, it will allow the Canes' new head coach Bill Peters to play Eric Staal and Jordan Staal together on the top line more often. Offensive depth wins championships, and Lindholm's play could be a key for the Hurricanes next season. Oh yeah, he's also only 19 years old.

1. Justin Faulk

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1. Justin Faulk

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If the Hurricanes are going to get themselves back into the Stanley Cup picture, Justin Faulk has to elevate his play to an elite level. If he can find a way to rejuvenate the Canes' power play and consistently shut down opposing top lines, then the Hurricanes will be playing summer hockey next year.