Hurricanes Lose Captain: What Now for Carolina?

Dino MoriAnalyst IFebruary 15, 2008

What do you do now, if you're the Carolina Hurricanes?

The Hurricanes lost their heart and soul, leader and captain, Rod Brind'Amour, for the remainder of the season on Thursday.

Brind'Amour tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against the Pittsburgh Penguins and will be out four to six months.  He was leading the team in scoring with 51 points.

What a blow to Carolina, who sit atop the Southeast division with a mere 62 points, two points ahead of both the Washington Capitals and Atlanta Thrashers.

By virtue of their first-place standing, the Hurricanes would be seeded third in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Now, will Carolina make a trade before the deadline after losing Brind'Amour?  I wonder.

On Monday, general manager Jim Rutherford dealt Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore, both free-agents at the end of the year, to the Ottawa Senators for Mike Eaves and Joe Corvo.

My guess is Rutherford got rid of Stillman and Commodore purely for financial reasons, knowing full well he wouldn't be able to sign them in the off-season.

It's not a move you make if you have desires of a Stanley Cup.

On the flip side, a couple of names come to mind, if I'm Rutherford and I'm looking for a skilled center.

Toronto's Mats Sundin would be a terrific fit, alongside the two Erics, Staal and Cole. 

How 'bout San Jose's Patrick Marleau?  I know he's had a bad year, but the Sharks have made it no secret they are willing to part with him.

Finally, there's Florida's Olli Jokinen, who becomes a free-agent at the end of the year.  But would the Panthers deal to a division rival?  Stranger things have happened.

Having said all of this, with the loss of the 37 year-old Brind'Amour, who knows what the 'Canes will do?