IMHO, The Missing Links to a 'Canes playoff season...
We now have youth on the blueline. Johnson, Commodore, Hutchinson, Walser, Hagemo, etc. The first forward we took in the draft was a big physical kid with potential head case issues. Nary a goalie in the mix. So, what's going on in Hurricane world?
First of all, I think the departure of Jeff O'Neill will be followed shortly by the departures of Marty Murray, Bret Hedican, and Aaron Ward. I think JR will move quickly in the hope of getting there the first-est with the most-est in a pitch to Adrian Aucoin. This gives us the playmaker #1 defenseman we've sorely lacked. I think the 'Canes will then re-sign Glen Wesley at a much reduced salary as our #2 blueliner. With Frankie Kaberle as the puck-carrying #3 with Commodore, and Bruno and Wallin bringing up the rear.
I think our big-ticket forward addition will/should be Corey Stillman. He was the #8 ranked point scorer in the league in '03-'04 and relatively affordable. It does however give us yet another center. I think Kevyn Adams or Matt Cullen could move to wing to accommodate. Other options might be Miro Satan who Buffalo is dying to move. Longshot acquisitions might be Pavol Demitra or even Keith Tkachuk who the Blues are dying to move. Tkachuk will be expensive this year, but not so next. Rumors abound about Gary Roberts coming back or the potentially dain bramaged Jason Allison joining us. I don't dig old and brittle at this point.
Should be a fun couple of weeks, eh?