An injury laden 2012-13 season derailed the Carolina Hurricanes hopes of qualifying for the playoffs, a feat they have not accomplished in the past four seasons. General Manager Jim Rutherford's trade for Jordan Staal last year and his long term signing of Russian sniper Alexander Semin signaled that the Hurricanes are in win-now mode and they believe a championship is within grasp.
Despite lacking a lot of depth and talent, the Carolina Hurricanes organization has top-end prospects in the pipeline, including the offensively talented defenseman Ryan Murphy, and a potential rising offensive star in Victor Rask. There are also several good depth defensemen who, in the near future, could solidify the Carolina blue line.
The 2012-13 NHL lockout has had a major impact on many of the young players with the Carolina Hurricanes. Ryan Murphy, the club's top prospect, would have gone into the season hoping to make a good enough impression at the Carolina Hurricanes training camp to perhaps lock down a spot with the big club. The NHL lockout however prevented those hopes from even getting off the ground and the gifted young defenseman was forced to return to junior.
The Hurricanes were arguably the NHL’s busiest team the past six months, adding Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin to their top six while committing more than $150 million in guaranteed money to both their new acquisitions and their core players.
The focus is clearly on winning — and winning now. Carolina traded one of their top prospects in defenseman Brian Dumoulin to Pittsburgh to land Staal, and the one-year deal for Semin shows that Carolina’s braintrust is willing to take a risk.