Eric Staal suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in Canada's quarterfinal shootout loss to Sweden at the IIHF World Championships.
He received a knee-on-knee hit from Alexander Edler, who was assessed a major for kneeing, with 4:14 left in the first period. Staal wasn't able to put any weight on his leg as he was helped off the ice. "It's unfortunate and hopefully it's not too serious," Carolina GM Jim Rutherford said. "If it is serious, hopefully there will be enough recovery time for him to be ready for next season. We'll just hope for the best." He will have an MRI exam in Stockholm from NHL doctors.
The Hurricanes are the first team in North Carolina to support gay and lesbian inclusivity.
"People's right to choose whatever in their lives is important. It's important enough for the Hurricanes to support it," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "For people to have to carry certain things around in their life and not feel comfortable sharing it with other people, to me it isn't right. "You don't have to agree with everybody with what they do in their life, their different choices in their life. But everybody has that right." Canes winger Kevin Westgarth hopes the NHL "can become a beacon for other sports," as the NHL and NHLPA partnered with You Can Play in April.
Justin Faulk is playing standout hockey for the United States at the IIHF World Championships in Sweden and Finland.
The Hurricanes' defenseman has registered four assists in four games and is playing heavy minutes in all game situations. We have long been touting Faulk as a player to watch. He is now a player to draft. Don't wait too late to select him in your pools next season.
Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos is ready to increase his team's spending and keep pace with the other free-spending teams in the new divison that is part of realignment.
Carolina ranked 20th in payroll this season with a payroll of just over $57 million. They are committed to about $56 million next year as the cap will drop to $64.3 million. "We have been a budget team for a long time," Rutherford acknowledged. "But we are now at the point where we're going to be a lot closer to the cap than not. We'll probably be at about $60, $61 million next year. Now we're getting into that area. We know we had to do that with the change of divisions." The Canes need to add some leadership, role players at forward and upgrade their blueline.
As the Hurricanes look to improve their defense, youngsters Ryan Murphy and Brett Bellemore could be options.
Murphy (48 points in the OHL) was the team's No. 1 draft pick in 2011, while Bellemore (13 points, 87 penalty minutes in the AHL) was a sixth rounder from 2007. "You either have to be a skating, puck-moving defenseman or you have to be a physical defenseman, general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We have some defensemen who are capable of playing physical and haven't done it and they have to do it if they want to play here."
Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has placed changing the team's defense as his top priority this off-season.
He said he wants to add at least one and possibly two veteran blueliners through free agency or trade. Rutherford stated that he wants Carolina to be "tougher to play against." The Canes may also give Ryan Murphy and/or Brett Bellemore a shot at an NHL job on the back end next season.
Carolina GM Jim Rutherford may be interested in retaining the services of goaltender Dan Ellis.
"I think we had a good one-two punch early in the season with [Cam] Ward and Ellis," Rutherford said. Ellis will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and if the Canes don't bring him back then Justin Peters will likely move into the team's backup role.