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Plus/Minus – Grading the Carolina Hurricanes Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 22 2011 @ 11:28 am In Carolina Hurricanes | No Comments

**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

GOALIES

Returning: Cam Ward

Arrivals: Brian Boucher
Departures: Justin Peters

Grade: +1

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.

DEFENSE

Returning: Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason, Jamie McBain, Jay Harrison, Bryan Allen, Derek Joslin

Arrivals: Tomas Kaberle
Departures: Joe Corvo

Grade: +1

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.

FORWARDS

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.

Grade: -2

OVERALL RATING: 0
2011-12 Prediction: #8-#10 in Eastern Conference

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