The Carolina Hurricanes watched as the rest of the Metropolitan Division got much better, while they seemed to continue with the rebuilding process. They made some moves that could make them better, but made other moves that could have counteracted any improvements.
The main proponent of the offseason for the Hurricanes was the juggling of goaltenders. They came into last season with the veteran Cam Ward and the young upstart Anton Khudobin. Many believed the Ward era in Carolina was about to come to an end, but that was not the case. One year later, and Ward is still with the Hurricanes and Khudobin had been traded to the Anaheim Ducks. They made a move for Eddie Lack from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a third- and seventh-round pick. It seems like the Hurricanes were running in place with this move. Lack is possibly an upgrade, but they both seem to be driven on potential.
In the Khudobin trade, the Hurricanes obtained James Wisniewski and his $5.5 million cap hit. He was a major disappointment after coming to the Ducks at the trade deadline. He will get a chance to be the main guy on a bad team. He can lead the two young stars Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin on the blue line through his time with the Hurricanes. This may not be the best move for the price, but he will bring a ton to the table as far as leadership.
As far as free agency goes, the Hurricanes did absolutely nothing. They did not sign one new free agent. They are all in on giving some of their younger skaters a chance. It is curious because the team only has four forwards signed through next season. They obviously have more when restricted free agency is taken into account and also their minor leaguers, but as far as NHL players, they have four if nobody gets re-signed.
The final move was buying out Alex Semin. It seemed like the Hurricanes expected so much more from him than he was going to be able to give them. It makes sense on many fronts, but it was still a waste of a signing when looking back on it. The Hurricanes’ brass hoped they could get a 30-40 goal scorer, but they received a player who contributed six goals last season. It was time for a divorce, and both sides agreed.
Overall, this wasn’t a good offseason, but it definitely wasn’t bad. The Hurricanes weren’t going to make big moves. They look towards the future, and one more bad year will not affect them. Next season could be a long one for the fans to watch, but hopefully it will be worth five years from now.
Offseason Grade: C+