The Hurricanes were easily the shallowest team on my Summer roster lists, having only nine forwards, five defense and two goalies on it for the better part of the Summer. This now leaves the door wide open for all sorts of new talent for the Southeast Division team and they might just have the talent to make some noise this year.
Up front, I'm looking at Zach Boychuk, Drayson Bowman and Jeff Skinner to take the lead for spots, which still leaves some room for another forward or two to stay in the running. On defense, Jamie McBain has been earning the praises of many, while Bobby Sanguinetti may finally get his chance to breakthrough after an off-season trade from the Rangers. Justin Peters was named the back-up early on in the Summer, before he even was re-signed, so he'll already have some expectations placed upon him in training camp. With this much talent, they could breakout like the Avalanche did with all of their young talent and make some noise. Just a thought.
|Eric Staal||Joni Pitkanen||Cam Ward|
|Jussi Jokinen||Tim Gleason||Justin Peters|
|Brandon Sutter||Joe Corvo|
|Tuomo Ruutu||Brett Carson|
|Sergei Samsonov||Anton Babchuk|
|Zach Boychuk||Jamie McBain||Justin Pogge|
|Jon Matsumoto||Bobby Sanguinetti||Mike Murphy|
|Jiri Tlusty||Bryan Rodney|
|Drayson Bowman||Jay Harrison|
|Zac Dalpe||Michal Jordan|
|Riley Nash||Austin Levi|
|Oskar Osala||Casey Borer|
|Jared Staal||Rasmus Rissanen|
|Matt Kennedy||Zack Fitzgerald|
|Jeff Skinner||Kyle Lawson|
|Stefan Chaput||Brett Bellemore|
Surprisingly, with such a small Summer roster, the Hurricanes were not the lowest team on the league's totem pole for annual salary cap projections. They are pretty low, but they weren't last. The nine forwards, five defense, two goalies and two buyouts came in at a total of $45.6 million, still above the salary cap floor. They do have some sizable contracts on the team in Eric Staal and Cam Ward, so it shouldn't be such a surprise that they moved up on the list. Of course, with more talent joining the active roster, that number will go up, but it shouldn't be anything to worry about.
I am kind of fond of the notion that the Hurricanes might be able to breakout like the Avalanche did with all of their young talent in 2010. I might go out and look for Boychuk, Bowman and Skinner at the draft, project some good depth numbers and take a bit of a gamble there. Of course, if there are some better projections available during those picks, I'll likely take them instead, but this is definitely an interesting thought.