New York Rangers NHL season preview: #20 Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes are looking for a fresh start in the 2018-19 season. With a new owner, head coach, and general manager, can this young Hurricanes team end the longest playoff drought in the NHL? And how will they affect the New York Rangers?
The Carolina Hurricanes made some major changes last season and over the summer. Tom Dudon, a businessman from Texas, became majority owner of the team in January. Since then, he has been rolling in changes and a new regime.
Team President and General Manager Ron Francis was fired, along with head coach Bill Peters at the end of the season. Don Waddell was brought in to replace Francis and assistant coach Rod Brind’amour was promoted to head coach. Brind’amour was captain of the Hurricanes when they won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
The Hurricanes are an enigma. They currently have the longest playoff drought in the entire NHL, missing the playoffs every year since the 2008-09 season.
Every year, analysts say that the upcoming season is the one that breaks Carolina’s drought. However, they always manage to crash and burn. This season may not be any different.
They finished 21st overall in the league standings and 6th in the Metropolitan Division. This entered the Hurricanes into the draft lottery. They struck gold and won the second overall pick, but they also traded away popular veterans in favor of a fresh start. They did, however, add yet again to their defense with the acquisition of Dougie Hamilton and the signing of Calvin De Haan.
Goaltending is also still an issue for the Hurricanes, and will most likely plague them this season as it did last season.
The Hurricanes are starting anew, but their offseason changes may not be good enough to bring the team up in the standings. They may find a way to move up slightly and finish 20th overall.