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Holiday Road

Catching up after a long holiday

Report:  Chad LaRose seeks a comeback.
Report: Chad LaRose seeks a comeback.
Bruce Bennett

Hello again readers!  I bet some of you wondered if anything would ever be coming again from this site, but I have finally returned after a long vacation, (and a very enjoyable one I might add), and will be posting again about everyday coming up.

It seems to have been a pretty slow week last week and a very quiet one from the Hurricanes but next week will be the prospect development camp, (the roster will be released soon), and I will be there with reports from the ice and from the locker room.

Yesterday, the Canes reported the signing of Justin Shugg, the club's 2010 fourth round draft pick who started to come into his own playing for the Checkers last season.  Shugg got the typical two-way, one-year contract handed out to AHL players.

Probably the biggest news from last week was that Chad LaRose contacted Ron Francis, asking for a comeback try with the Canes.  Chip Alexander broke the story and you can check it out at this link if you have not seen it.

Obviously the odds are not in Chad's favor, but this player, who was never drafted, worked his way from the ECHL to the NHL. He has been fighting the odds to make it throughout his career.  Still, this is a road some fans do not wish to travel again, although if LaRose could make any team this coming season, it would probably be the Canes.  Carolina does not exactly have an established lineup in the bottom six.

Speaking of Carolina's lineup, the club's action, (or inaction), during free agency so far has left most pundits around the league unimpressed.

It's been stated several times by Peter Karmanos, and now, Ron Francis, that management feels that they have a very good team in place and after some minor "tweaking", they intend to give last year's disappointing lineup another shot.  So far, it's hard to find many that agree with them.

ESPN's most recent power rankings report has the Hurricanes in last place in the NHL.

A bad team from a year ago has done nothing to make itself better (and sorry, with all due respect to Tim Gleason, repatriating the veteran defenseman as well as forward Jiri Tlusty don't count).

The Hockey News has the Hurricanes as a favorite in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

On the surface, it’s easy to ask, "how can a team with Eric Staal, Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner be really bad?" Well, talk to the 2013-14 Canes. They finished second-last in the Metropolitan Division and only because the Islanders lost John Tavares to a season-ending knee injury at the Olympics. Toss in the loss of faceoff ace Manny Malhotra and a bad possession team gets worse. The blueline is laden with players the Maple Leafs didn’t want and Cam Ward is not the same netminder that won this team the Stanley Cup oh so many years ago. He’ll platoon with Anton Khudobin and even if the affable Kazakh takes over, I’m not sure there’s enough ceiling there.

Also, Vegas and other betting sites have the Hurricanes as huge long shots to win the Cup.

Bovada 66-1

Vegas Insiders 65-1

You can find as much negative news as you want to out there but the Hurricanes are also one of the youngest teams in the league and will be relying upon their youth to improve.  Also, Eric Staal and Alexander Semin probably had the worst seasons of their careers last year. They can't repeat that performance, can they?

Finally, The Hockey News continues to kick the franchise while they are down and places the club's logo as the worst in the NHL.

NHL Logos - Carolina 30th