2014-15 NHL Metropolitan Division preview. The outlook is grim for the reeling Carolina Hurricanes.

By Eli Bernstein
October 01, 2014

MORE METRO PREVIEWS: Capitals | Rangers | Flyers | Devils | Islanders | Blue Jackets | Penguins

NHL
Best case scenarios for Eastern Conference teams
COACH: Bill Peters

2013-2014 RECORD: 36-35-11, 83 points (seventh in Metropolitan, missed playoffs)

VITAL SIGNS: 9.5 goals per game (22nd), 2.8 goals-against per game (19th); 14.6 power play pct. (28th); 81.7 penalty kill pct. (17th); shootout record: 2-4 (25th)

NOTABLE ARRIVALS: C Brad Malone, C Jay McClement, D Tim Gleason

NOTABLE DEPARTURES: G Justin Peters, C Manny Malhotra

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART

Forwards

Jiri Tlusty — Eric Staal — Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner — Jordan Staal (injured) — Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe — Riley Nash — Patrick Dwyer
Chris Terry — Jay McClement — Brad Malone

Defense

Andrej Sekera — Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey — Ryan Murphy
Tim Gleason — John-Michael Liles

Goalies

Cam Ward
Anton Khudobin

NHL
Jordan Staal's injury a blessing in disguise for aimless Hurricanes
corps, but if the forwards fail to produce and Cam Ward does not rediscover his old Conn Smythe form, Carolina could be in for another long, dark winter.

• Who will replace Jordan Staal?

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jeff Skinner 

With 33 goals in 71 games last season, Skinner returned to the form that won him the Calder Trophy for 2010-11. His eye for goals will be essential to keeping the Hurricanes in games when their other big-name forwards, Eric Staal and Semin, draw the attention of the opposing team’s top defensive players.

PREDICTION: 76 points (eighth in Metropolitan)

• Hurricanes cut 10 players from camp roster

• ATLANTIC PREVIEWS: Canadiens | Bruins | Sabres | Panthers | Maple Leafs | Red Wings | Lightning | Senators

• CENTRAL PREVIEWS: Wild | Stars | Blackhawks | Avalanche | Jets | Predators | Blues

• PACIFIC PREVIEWS: Canucks | Sharks | Coyotes | Flames | Ducks | Oilers | Kings

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