I might as well finish off the whole division with a quick look at Carolina and Washington:
- The Hurricanes seem to be in the same mindset as Florida, and that would be full rebuilding mode.
- The Canes have seen long time vets Ray Whitney and Rod Brind'Amour and appear to have no interest in the return of Manny Legace, Brian Pothier, Tim Conboy or Alexander Picard.
- The only addition is a very familiar face. After trading Joe Corvo to Washington at the trading deadline last season, the Canes signed him back to a reasonable 2 year, $4.5M deal.
- Otherwise the Canes juggled draft picks at the draft. They walked away with 11 new players, plus acquired prospects Bobby Sanguinetti, Riley Nash and Johnathon Matsumoto. And how can we forget that back in April they signed non-other than Carolina legend Michal Jordan.
- It could be a long season in Carolina. A healthy Cam Ward would make the biggest difference for them, as would a strong start from Eric Staal. Hopefully Jussi Jokinen can keep his scoring form and Brandon Sutter takes it to another level.
- The Washington Capitals have been very quiet this summer. They've focussed on their own free agents such as Nicklas Backstrom, Eric Fehr and Jeff Schultz.
- Inaction by GM George McPhee? I don't think so. He has the bigger picture in mind. He knows this is a weak UFA class and with the salaries the Caps players will and already are commanding, he can't be overpaying for good or filler players. He will be far more active next year, when Alex Semin, Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich and Matt Bradley are UFAs and all of his goalies are due up. Or the next season when Mike Green will be a UFA. McPhee has a long term game plan that involves either keeping or replacing these players.
- Undoubtedly some Caps fans will distress over this perceived inaction, but the Caps should be able to coast into the playoffs with another division title and a top three seeding. It's spring time that really matters though.