The Western Conference ran away with most of the AHL team and player honors for the 2013-14 season, with the explosive offense from the Texas Stars overshadowing the league’s annual awards. The defending champion Grand Rapids Griffins also took home some hardware, but can the West keep the most important award – the Calder Cup trophy – in the conference?
Headed into the 2008 off-season, there were two distinct trends in the Hurricanes' draft history under GM Jim Rutherford: they preferred not to draft defensemen or European forwards in the early rounds. For the most part, the Hurricanes elected to use their picks on forwards playing in North American leagues. The 2008 draft class was a very talented crop, but most of the better prospects were defensemen.
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.