It was only a couple weeks ago that the Carolina Hurricanes were in last place in the NHL and the decision to scrap the team was all but made. After last night, however, things have become alot more interesting for GM Jim Rutherford.
Last nights 4-2 victory over Chicago proved that with Cam Ward in net, the Carolina Hurricanes have a chance to win every game. Having now won four games in a row on the backs of Ward, Staal et al. the 'Canes have climbed their way out of last in the NHL and have now jumped ahead of the Maple Leafs for 14th in the East.
This obviously comes as some relief for everybody involved. The boys could have packed it in in December, calling it a season and waiting for the trades to start. Instead, they continued to play with pride, worked hard, and have now actually willed themselves out of a huge slump and are slowly making their way back to respectability.
So now the question is, What do you do if you're Jim Rutherford? The team has 45 points, with 28 games remaining in the season. In order to make the playoffs any team will likely need a minimum 92-94 points. Therefore the hurricanes need to win about 23 more games. With only 28 games to go? Not bloody likely.
The only likely path for Rutherford, in my opinion, is to continue as he was. This team is not going to reach the post-season, but is clearly much better than their record indicates. Therefore rather than completely blowing up the team, JR, needs only to trade away a few players for reasonable returns, without really affecting the teams core too much, and plugging in the young guys while grabbing some inexpensive pieces during the off season.
I am currently working on a blog showing how Staal stacks up against the other Captains in the NHL and will likely have it up in the next couple days. In the meantime, Adieu Caniacs!
About the Author
Written by Chris Cote
Originally from Cadillac, Saskatchewan, I've been a Hurricanes/Whalers fan for as long as anyone can remember. I have completed two years of Journalism studies from the University of Regina and love to write...