To go along with our '30 in 30' Off-season feature, we'll be asking a blogger from each team some of the burning questions surrounding their club this summer.
RLD: 1. Is there any way you can explain Carolina's tale of two halves last year? Bob Wage: The Canes had a very slow start last season for a couple of reasons. First, the team was too old. They started off as the oldest team in the NHL and they seemed a bit complacent. Then, injuries to key players killed them. Erik Cole broke his leg the second game of the season. Cam Ward had a slashed leg and Eric Staal was also injured.
In the second half of the year Staal started scoring at a point a game pace and the team recalled a few hungry prospects who played very well. Canes management realized that the team needs at least some youth mixed in and next season you will see a few prospects on the team to start things off.
RLD: 2. If Staal and Ward stay healthy, do you feel the 'Canes can again make noise in the East? BW: Anything is possible but with many new faces in the lineup next season, it will probably take this team some time to gel. In my opinion, they would be doing very well to make the playoffs.
RLD: 3. What is Ray Whitney's future in Carolina? BW: I believe there is a 50/50 chance Whitney will stay in Carolina. Both sides want to make a deal, but the Hurricanes will not want to give a contract longer than two years and Whitney might want a longer term deal.
RLD: 4. Which youngster is more primed for a breakout campaign in 2010/11: Boychuk or Sutter? BW: Brandon Sutter made huge strides last season and should continue to grow. Boychuk still has some learning to do and will probably need another season or so before he breaks out. Look for Sutter to shine.
RLD: 5. True or false: Rod Brind'Amour has played his last game in a Hurricanes uniform. BW: I wouldn't bet much on this answer, but I will say true!
We thank Bob for taking time out to answer these burning questions in Raleigh! You can catch his work over at Canes Country, and I recommend following him on Twitter as well.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.