Cam Ward doesn't think his knee injury was the reason for Carolina's No. 26 finish in the league's overall standings.
"There's other areas where we just weren't good enough," Ward said. "I guess it was bad timing but you had Justin Faulk go down, you had Joni (Pitkanen) go down, you can go down the list. At the end of the day it wasn't good enough." He appeared in 17 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury on March 3rd. Dan Ellis and Justin Peters started 16 games apiece in 2013, but as expected none of them was able to match the numbers that Ward put up during his 16 starts.
Chad LaRose is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
All 508 games he has played in his career have come with Carolina, but there's a chance that the team may not retain his services. He recorded two goals and two assists in 35 games this year.
Jay Harrison has been added to Team Canada's roster for the upcoming world championship.
He was said to be suffering from a concussion at the end of the regular season. Maybe his status will be determined just before the tournament begins in May. If he is healthy and ready to play then he will join fellow Hurricanes Eric Staal, Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner in Canada's lineup.
Former Penguins forward Jordan Staal got a standing ovation from the fans in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"It was nice," Staal said. "I have good memories in this building and in this city and I appreciate that from the fans." Of course, it's easy for Penguins fans to swallow Staal's decision to turn down a contract with the Penguins and then be traded to Carolina. As good as Staal is, the Penguins haven't missed a beat without him and are certainly in a better cap position than they would have been had he re-signed. The Penguins have the top seed in the Eastern Conference while Carolina finished 13th in the conference.
Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller was diplomatic after his team suffered an 8-3 loss to Pittsburgh in its season finale.
Carolina had already long since been eliminated from the playoffs. "There's only going to be one real happy team this year, like every year," Muller said. "It's been an emotional ride and such a Jekyll and Hyde season for us. With all the injuries it has been a tough grind for these guys. Despite the score, I'm proud of the way the guys pushed to the end. They'll learn from it and it will make them better next year." The Hurricanes certainly have some great players, but they need to try and build around them by adding some complimentary players this summer. Among other things, they might want to look at a stronger backup goaltender for Cam Ward (knee), whose absence was certainly felt.