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Where They're At: The Carolina Hurricanes placed 13th in the Eastern Conference for the second straight year in 2013-14. The team hasn't made the playoffs since 2008-09. A management overhaul this summer saw Ron Francis move up to general manager while former Detroit Red Wings assistant Bill Peters was hired as head coach.
What's Expected: According to Davis Harper of NHL.com, Francis sees new coach Peters as "somebody who could come in and change the culture a bit—hold guys accountable, demand our guys are playing hard every night, playing a 200-foot game."
Roster changes are minimal because Francis likes his players:
You look at what we've done…last year, we brought in a lot of new faces at the beginning of the season, and a lot of those guys had pretty good years. [Anton] Khudobin, [Andrej] Sekera, Gerbe, Hainsey played well for us. It's not like we've been standing pat with the same lineup the past five or six years.
Why They'll Disappoint: Francis is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and was a great player for the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes organization, but the team has regressed since he joined the management group as director of hockey operations in 2011. It's not a good sign when he's using a backup goaltender who missed 32 games with injury as his best example of a good signing.
Expect to see the Hurricanes hovering near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division again in 2014-15.