Hurricanes look for improvement after busy summer
LAST SEASON: 36-31-15, 87 points. Seventh place in Metropolitan Division.
COACH: Bill Peters (fourth season, fourth NHL season).
ADDED: G Scott Darling, RW Justin Williams, D Trevor van Riemsdyk, C Marcus Kruger.
LOST: G Eddie Lack, D Ryan Murphy.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Williams. The player known as “Mr. Game 7” came back to the place where he won the first of his three Stanley Cups, scoring the clinching empty-net goal in the seventh game of the 2006 Cup final. He’ll be 36 once the season starts and is being asked to provide both scoring punch and veteran leadership for one of the league’s youngest teams.
OUTLOOK: Carolina is tired of hearing about its longest-in-the-NHL postseason drought, and might have the team to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009. For that to happen, the Hurricanes will need Darling to play like a starting goalie, Williams to continue scoring timely goals and a young, promising defensive corps to take another step forward.
More AP hockey: https://www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey