**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade
Team: Carolina Hurricanes
2010-11: 91 points, #9 in Eastern Conference
Returning: Cam Ward
Arrivals: Brian Boucher
Departures: Justin Peters
Cam Ward was forced to play 74 games last year, in large part because Peters did not do a great job as a backup. Boucher will replace Peters and he should help bring Ward’s number down to about 65-70 games.
Returning: Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason, Jamie McBain, Jay Harrison, Bryan Allen, Derek Joslin
Arrivals: Tomas Kaberle
Departures: Joe Corvo
The biggest move was retaining Joni Pitkanen, but a close second was the signing of Tomas Kaberle. He takes a lot of heat but he’s actually a very effective player, especially on the power play.
Returning: Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, Brandon Sutter, Jussi Jokinen, Tuomo Ruutu, Chad Larose, Jiri Tlusty, Zac Dalpe, Pat Dwyer
Arrivals: Alexei Ponikarovsky, Anthony Stewart, Tim Brent
Departures: Erik Cole, Cory Stillman, Troy Bodie
Losing both Erik Cole and Cory Stillman leaves major holes in the Canes lineup. They better hope that Ponikarovsky can be a top 6 forward (I doubt it) and that one of Drayson Bowman/Zach Boychuk can play on the top 3 lines to start the season (more likely) if they have any hopes of making the playoffs. Carolina has a good young group of players, especially up front, but I would bet that they come up short once again in 2011-12.
OVERALL RATING: 0
2011-12 Prediction: #8-#10 in Eastern Conference
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.