2019 Carolina Hurricanes Odds to win Stanley Cup with Expert Predictions
It was an impressive season for the Hurricanes last year. Their patient development paid off much better than expected. They seemed to get stronger as the season went along and wound up with a wild card spot. And they certainly made the most of it. They started out by beating the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in seven games in the opening round. Then they overwhelmed another Cinderella team when they swept the Islanders in four games to make it to the Eastern Conference final. But the clock struck midnight sometime before the third round, and they wound up being swept by the Boston Bruins - who went on to lose to the Blues in the finals.
It was a strong season, and it was followed by a solid offseason. But now they aren't going to sneak up on anyone, and they have to prove that they can handle the pressure of being a contender as opposed to an upstart.
Carolina Hurricanes Offseason Moves
The Hurricanes got a break in dealing with the biggest challenge of their offseason. Young superstar Sebastian Aho was one of the many strong restricted free agents that were going to be hard to deal with this summer - many still aren't signed as we reach the later portions of September. It was likely not going to be an easy negotiation, but Montreal signed Aho to an offer sheet - the first we have seen in the league in a long time. Carolina matched the offer quickly and happily - the offer was more than reasonable. So now the Hurricanes have their top center, coming off an 83-point season, wrapped up for five more years at a price that is cap friendly given what he offers.
Jake Gardiner fell out of the picture in Toronto because the defenseman was expected to be too expensive for the cap-challenged team to re-sign. But as it turned out, the market for Gardiner wasn't nearly as robust as he or most others expected. In the end, he wound up with the Hurricanes for four years at a bargain basement price of just more than $4 million per year. The Hurricanes were remarkably deep on the backend already, and now they have more depth and more options. They can make moves with a d-man to add other assets, or they can have the best insurance policy in case of injury of any team in the league. Either way, this team is in a good position.
They added some other pieces along the way - most notably Ryan Dzingel and Erik Haula as middle six wingers.
The goalies on this squad benefit from that defense, and the team faces some changes back there. Curtis McElhinney was a pleasant surprise last year, but at 36-years-old the Hurricanes didn't want to invest in him, and they let him join the Lightning as a free agent. That leaves Petr Mrazek, who started 40 regular season games and looked good doing so, as the No. 1. They traded Scott Darling, who had flopped as a backup, to Tampa for James Reimer - Darling was immediately bought out by his new team - and he will be the backup. They also added Anton Forsberg in a deal with Chicago. It's unclear how it will shake out in the long term. However, no matter what, it will not be the best duo in the league. It is solid, though.
The team had a late draft choice. They got good value taking Ryan Suzuki 28th, but they will have to be patient with him.
Carolina Hurricanes NHL Outlook
They have a ridiculously deep group of defenseman and a forward group that is strong on top and probably deeper than last year. It's tough to get too excited about the goaltending changes, but this is still an improved team from last year -- on paper, at least. But they didn't play to the level of paper last year - they exceeded it. The coaching message of Rod Brind'Amour certainly resonated in the first season last year. And if it does again this year, then this is a team that could be really solid. But they aren't going to sneak up on anyone.
Carolina Hurricanes Schedule
After opening up at home, things get really tough for this team for three games, and we will learn a whole lot about where this team is at early on. Over the course of four days, they visit a Washington team likely focused on revenge, host the best team in the league, Tampa Bay, the next day, and then travel to play a Florida team that feels dangerous and much improved.
Carolina Hurricanes NHL Futures Odds
At +3300 to win the Stanley Cup , the Hurricanes are behind 20 teams. They are tied with Philadelphia as the 10th choice to win the Eastern Conference at +1400. They are the second choice to win the Metropolitan Division - a very tight race with six teams at +600 or less - at +450. Their season point total is set at 95.5, with balanced action. They are -160 to make the playoffs, compared to +140 to miss them.
2019-20 Carolina Hurricanes Predictions
I respect this team a lot and love their back end. And their depth their gives them all sorts of options. But the East is so deep and tough this year. They are absolutely in the mix and feel a little more likely to make the playoffs than to miss them. But very good teams are going to miss this year, and this is not a squad that is a playoff lock.
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