The Carolina Hurricanes had one of the most shocking playoff exits in recent memory, swept out of the playoffs by the Florida Panthers after dropping just three games in the first two rounds combined. The combination of key injuries and some outstanding performances from star Panthers left them searching for answers again.
Now, with free agency right around the corner, news poured out of the Hurricanes’ locker cleanout day:
- It started with captain Jordan Staal, who explained that he doesn’t plan to play anywhere but Carolina next season. The pending UFA will be 35 before the 2023-24 campaign kicks off, but loves being a Hurricane and wants to come back. He even went so far as to say that he wants to finish his career in Carolina.
- Frederik Andersen, a pending free agent, also wants to return. That’s his “priority” as the two-year deal he signed in 2021 comes to an end. Both Andersen and fellow veteran goaltender Antti Raanta are set to hit the open market, while Pyotr Kochetkov’s new four-year deal kicks in.
- There was also some injury news, though, with Stefan Noesen explaining that he suffered a grade three shoulder separation. Fortunately, it isn’t expected to require surgery, meaning he’ll be ready for the start of next year. Noesen, 30, finally found a home in Carolina, scoring 13 goals and 36 points in 78 games.
- Andrei Svechnikov, who had to watch the entire playoff run after suffering a serious knee injury, was optimistic about his recovery timeline and told reporters he’d be on the ice in a month. His absence was certainly felt in the Florida series, after scoring 23 goals and 55 points in 64 games this season.
I think it would be a 2-2 series if Svech or Pacioretty wouldve been healthy let alone both.
Wish we could play the hypotheticals and what-ifs about injuries, I’d prefer to still be watching the Avalanche.
Let’s see what they can do next year!
Got to think that the Hurricanes played as well as any team I’ve ever seen that got swept. I wouldn’t say they have a lot about which to be ashamed.
Pytor and one of the two above next year
Healthy scorers on Svech and Max
Still a damn good team