Another season's gone by in Raleigh. Another spring's gone by without playoff hockey. Another summer's scripted for redundant quotes about being better next year.
Do the Carolina Hurricanes play hockey, or do they, in fact, play golf?
Too often, it can be hard to tell.
The 'Canes were routed, 8-3, by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday to conclude their fourth straight season without a playoff game. After a promising 15-9-1 start, this multi-sport franchise won just four of its final 23 games to fall to 13th place in the conference.
Monday, three Staal brothers and many of their teammates will watch to see how the 'Canes fare in the 2013 NHL draft lottery. But their 8.1 percent chance at the No. 1 pick—the fifth highest in the league—will be more of an illustration of failure than a reason for future optimism.
What can this miserable Hurricanes club learn from the great train wreck that was the 2013 season that could, dare it be proposed, make them better in 2014? We point out and break down four ever-crucial lessons on the coming slides.