Carolina Hurricanes 2012-13 Season Preview:
The Carolina Hurricanes have undergone a variety of changes since the 2011-12 season, including a new head coach in Kirk Muller and a variety of trades and free agent splashes to help the team get back on top of the hockey world. The Hurricanes missed the playoffs for the third straight year during the 2011-12 season, finishing with a pedestrian 33-33-16 record and 12th in the Eastern Conference standings. Heading into the 2012-13 season, the Hurricanes have gone back to the drawing board and revamped their roster. They now have a bevy of playmakers who could make a serious difference for the team's postseason chances this year.
The biggest change on the Hurricanes' offense will come in the form of a blockbuster draft day deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins for center Jordan Staal. He will join his brother Eric Staal to form one of the most potent scoring threats in the NHL. Eric Staal lead the Hurricanes in points, goals and assists during the 2011-12 season, so the addition of his brother should work wonders to spread the puck around. The addition of former Washington Capital Alexander Semin should strengthen a bench that already includes solid role players like Chad Larose, Jeff Skinner and Jussi Jokinen.
The Hurricanes' defensive lines are undergoing a bit of a transition, but should still feature a mixture of solid veteran leadership and talented young players. The addition of defenseman Joe Corvo should strengthen the back line along with Joni Pitkanen, while young players like Justin Faulk, Marc-Andre Gragniani and Jamie McBain should help to keep the unit fresh. The Hurricanes boast one of the best goaltenders in the league with Cam Ward, but the team will need solid contributions from backups like Brian Boucher and Justin Peters to keep Ward fresh for a postseason run.
With a roster re-stocked with talent and ready to roll, the Hurricanes will open up the season on October 13 with a six-game road trip beginning with the Winnipeg Jets. The team will hold its home opener on October 26 against the New York Rangers, face off against the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils on December 2 and will wrap up 2012 with a New Year's Eve game against the Montreal Canadiens. With expectations through the roof for the Hurricanes this year, the team has the talent and the drive to return to the playoffs for the first time in three years, and make some noise when they get there.
CAROLINA HURRICANES EXPERIENCE:
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Stadium: PNC Arena
Conference: Eastern Conference
Division: Southeast Division
Carolina Hurricanes Stanley Cup Titles: 1: 2005-06
Carolina Hurricanes Conference Championships: 2
Notable Players: Gordie Howe & Dave Keon
The Carolina Hurricanes play in the Southeast Division of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team began as the New England Whalers, part of the World Hockey Association in Boston. Poor attendance moved the team to Hartford, Connecticut, where they would spend most of their history as the Hartford Whalers. The team joined the NHL in 1979 when the leagues merged. The team moved the Research Triangle in North Carolina in 1997 among fears that the community wouldn’t support an NHL team there.
Indeed the Carolina Hurricanes performed poorly and the crowds were thin until in the 2001 playoffs, the team went down 3-0 against defending champions, the New Jersey devils, but managed to bring the series to a game six. They lost that game, but the crowd was largest and loudest playoff crowd in team history. From then on, Carolina Hurricanes home games have been rowdy and noisy affairs. In 2002, Carolina pushed their way to the Stanley Cup Finals but failed to win. The 2005/2006 season had the Carolina Hurricanes back in the Finals, this time winning the Stanley Cup and cementing hockey in North Carolina.
The Carolina Hurricanes play home games at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The arena holds nearly 19,000 spectators and is considered one of if not the loudest arenas in the NHL. With a recent Stanley Cup, the Carolina Hurricanes are supported by one of the most rabid fan bases in the league. This is a hockey fan’s dream to see the action at PNC and hear the deafening roar of the home crowd. Buy Carolina Hurricanes tickets and watch the Carolina Hurricanes try to win it all again!
Carolina Hurricanes Season Preview History