Having missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for the sixth straight season, the Carolina Hurricanes could face significant off-season changes. Ron Francis stood pat in his first summer as Hurricanes GM last year, but now he could make significant moves.
The process began leading up to the trade deadline, when Francis dealt away pending free agents Andrej Sekera, Jiri Tlusty and Tim Gleason. Other players could follow them out the door later this summer.
Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer believes Francis has some “meaty decisions” to make. He must determine if captain Eric Staal, who is a year away from unrestricted free agency, is part of the Hurricanes’ long-term plans.
The 30-year-old Staal tells Alexander he loves living and playing in North Carolina. While he wants to help the Hurricanes return to the playoffs and compete for another Stanley Cup title, Staal admits it’s up to management.