Hockey North Carolina: A Guide to the NHL Hurricanes

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Carolina Hurricanes Players on Ice

The Carolina Hurricanes have been playing in North Carolina since 1997, when they relocated from Hartford, Conn., where they were known as the Hartford Whalers. They first played in Greensboro, N.C., until a new arena in Raleigh was built.

The Hurricanes have one Stanley Cup to their credit since the move: in 2006, when they beat the Edmonton Oilers in seven games. They made the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002 but lost in five games to Detroit.

The Hurricanes Stanley Cup odds have them as the 2023-24 favorites to win at +800. That translates to 11.1% in implied probability. The Hurricanes are favored because they are a young team on the rise, who made it to the Eastern Finals last season and keep taking steps to get to the promised land.

Carolina Hurricanes Roster

The Carolina Hurricanes went 52-21 last season, the second-best record in the NHL, and went to the playoffs. They ultimately lost to the Florida Panthers in the Conference Finals in four games, but return much of their core roster in 2023-24.

Canes Offense

No team got more shot attempts per 60 minutes in the National Hockey League last season than Carolina, at 70 per game. There were many nights where they just couldn't convert enough of those shots into goals, but Carolina still had a fine season. One of the keys for this regular season, therefore, is getting a higher scoring percentage off their shots.

Sebastian Aho, the 26-year-old center, scored 36 goals last season and 37 the one before that. He has a lot of talented, if unheralded, teammates on the forward lines. If he can get a bit more help on the Hurricanes roster from guys like Michael Bunting and Seth Jarvis, Aho could easily score 40 goals, maybe 50.

GM Don Waddell has done a good job of building a young roster, and he loves to pull off a big trade now and then. Don't be surprised if Carolina is very active at the NHL trade deadline.

Carolina Hurricanes Defense

The Hurricanes have a very good defense, led by Jaccob Slavin. He might be the best defenseman you've never heard of. He's big and very smooth with the puck in his own zone, and he usually adds 30-40 points of offense a year, too.

Veteran Brent Burns is his defensive partner, and he had a fine first season with the Hurricanes after many years in San Jose. Burns is up there in years now, but he doesn't play like it. He's still one of the league's smartest players, at both ends.

Carolina Hurricanes Goaltending

If there is one worry with the Hurricanes, it's in goal.

Frederik Andersen posted just a .903 save percentage last season, well below his career average of .915. He needs to get that number back to normal if the Carolina Hurricanes hockey club is to succeed in 2023-24.

Andersen's backup is veteran Antti Raanta, who has been mostly a mediocre journeyman in his career. It's on Andersen to up his game if Carolina is to win a Cup.

Notable Carolina Hurricanes Team Players

Sebastian Aho is certainly the team's best offensive player, but there are other good scorers here too.

Included are forwards such as Michael Bunting, Teuvu Teravainen, Seth Jarvis, Jordan Staal, Jesper Fast and Martin Necas.

Defensively, Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns are the top pairing, and they will get plenty of ice time from coach Rod Brind'Amour. Carolina's defense has a good 3-4 pairing as well, with Brady Skjel and Brett Pesce. Frederik Andersen is the No. 1 goalie.

Carolina Hurricanes Most Important Games

We are already in the midst of one of Carolina's most important stretches of the regular season. After winning on opening night at home against Ottawa at PNC Arena, Carolina embarked on a five-game Western road trip, with tough customers on the schedule such as Los Angeles and Colorado.

Being away so long from PNC Arena will be a good early test for Carolina. As always, games within their own Metropolitan Division will be important for the Hurricanes. But others from the Atlantic Division will be big as well, and that includes their first game against the team that vanquished them from the Eastern Finals last season, Florida. The first Hurricanes vs Panthers matchup doesn't happen until Nov. 10.

The Oct. 21 game in Colorado will be a big test for Carolina, but the Hurricanes have played well in Denver over the years. An Oct. 26 home game against Seattle also will be big. The first game at home after a long road trip often is one of the tougher ones to win. It'll be interesting to see how Carolina responds after so much time on the road.

NHL Hurricanes 2023-2024 Season Outlook

It should be a very good season for Carolina. It'll be important to have a good month of October, especially with so many games on the road early. While the future appears to be bright for the Hurricanes, things can change quickly in the NHL.

The Hurricanes have achieved at least 110 points in the last three seasons, and I don't see that changing this season. As long as Carolina stays reasonably healthy and gets good goaltending from Frederik Andersen, this team should win their division and get home ice for at least the first round of the playoffs. This team features a lot of good, young players, who should be hungry to get to that next level.

Carolina Hurricanes Arena

Carolina plays at PNC Arena in Raleigh, which seats 18,680 for hockey. Diehard fans in North Carolina are know as "Caniacs."

How to Get Tickets to Hurricanes Games?

Tickets are available at the PNC Arena box office, ticket outlets such as Ticketmaster and StubHub, and through the team's website. The team frequently sells out, so it's wise to get in early if you can.

Carolina Hurricanes FAQs


Adrian Dater writes about the Hurricanes for The longtime NHL writer spent 25 years at The Denver Post, 20 of which as the beat writer of the Colorado Avalanche.

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