Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hurricanes Set Their 23

The Hurricanes finished off their preseason with a win against the Predators and after the game decided to send down forward Brandon Sutter and defenseman Jamie McBain to finish off their roster at 23 players. Sutter is a bit of a surprise cut, as he was supposed to centre the fourth line and give some tenacity and speed to that position. Unfortunately, the coaching staff doesn't think he's quite there yet and a guy like Stephane Yelle (pictured below), will bring a veteran presence to that position and keep the Hurricanes in check defensively.

Ray WhitneyJoe CorvoCam Ward
Eric StaalJoni PitkanenMike Leighton
Tuomo RuutuAndrew Alberts
Rod Brind'AmourTim Gleason
Sergei SamsonovAaron Ward
Matt CullenNiclas Wallin
Erik ColeTim Conboy
Chad LaroseJay Harrison
Jussi Jokinen

Tom Kostopoulos

Stephane Yelle

Scott Walker

Michael Ryan

So, there you have it... the likely opening night roster for the Hurricanes and a list to draw from for your fantasy draft. There are some favourites on that list that I'll likely draw from, including Eric Staal, Ray Whitney and Cam Ward. Those three are immediate favourites for me in any pool and I'm usually pretty happy when I pick one (if not two) of those players up in my pool draft.

You can tell that there may be a bigger onus on defense this year, as that's what knocked them out of the playoffs in the Spring, losing to the Penguins. The Canes look to be carrying eight defensemen into the season, likely to test out their talent in game situations.

Salary CapSo, the 23-man roster, as expected, came down below the salary cap ceiling and they now sit down at $54.3 million against the cap for 13 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies. You will notice more and more teams will try and leave a couple million underneath the cap for flexibility later on in the year, which you'll notice the Canes are doing. I would imagine that within a week or two, that one of the eight defensemen will be sent down to the minors to bring Sutter back up, which would put a shift on the cap number, but it won't be an issue.

The current 23-man roster above is one of the more aged rosters with quite a bit of experience. The average age of the Hurricanes going into the season is 30.5 years old, just behind the Red Wings, who haven't finalized their roster yet. The Hurricanes are a middle-of-the-road team when it comes to size, so they likely won't be banging and crashing too many teams to victory, rather using their veteran savvy to beat teams at the mind games and good hockey.

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