Six years have passed since the Hurricanes hoisted the Stanley Cup, and much has changed in Carolina.
Since posting 112 points in the 2005-2006 season, they have had three head coaches and just one playoff appearance. The Hurricanes now find themselves in a three-year postseason drought—their longest since back when they were the Hartford Whalers.
After finishing 33-33-16 last season, Carolina has had an aggressive offseason, acquiring Jordan Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins and bringing in Joe Corvo for his third stint with the team.
The signs point to the Hurricanes continuing to make a splash this offseason. Free agency has only just begun and they have plenty of cap space to work with.
If they really want to set themselves up for a playoff run in 2013, the Hurricanes will need to loosen the purse strings and sign a top-flight defenseman like Suter.
Here are five reasons why Carolina cannot afford to let him slip away.