The Carolina Hurricanes have been through many highs and even more lows in their 23 year of existence. Two trips to the Conference Finals and two trips to the Stanley Cup Final, with one win, they matched those accolades with a nine-year playoff drought throughout the 2010’s. Whether it was an intricate attempt at building a Cup winning team, or cycling through players during a massive rebuild, there have been a fair share of random Carolina Hurricanes over the years.
Number 5- Tom Barrasso
After Tom Barrasso’s storied 12-year stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins came to an end, he found himself moving around the league quite a bit during the twilight of his career. Barrasso opted to not play during the 2000-01 season to rest his body. Upon his return to the NHL in the summer of 2001, he found himself entering free agency for the first time in his career. He signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes on July 17, 2001. He suited up for 34 games in Carolina, but was dealt to the Maple Leafs in March of 2002, ending his Hurricanes tenure early.
Number 4- Alexei Ponikarovsky
Best known for his nine-year stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2001 to 2010, Ponikarovsky played for five teams during his last six seasons in the NHL. He signed a one-year deal with the Hurricanes in the summer of 2011, and spent 49 games in Carolina. In January of 2012, he was dealt to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a fourth round pick and prospect Joe Sova. He helped the Devils make it to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, and the Hurricanes eventually drafted Jaccob Slavin with that fourth round pick.
Number 3- Sandis Ozolinsh
After his five-year tenure in Colorado came to an end, He signed a massive five-year, $25 million dollar with the Carolina Hurricanes, who were hoping he would push the team past the first round of the playoffs. During the 2000-01 season the Hurricanes clinched the eighth seed in the playoffs, but were dispatched in the first round by the Devils. Ozolinsh scored 12 goals and 44 points and 72 games during the season. The following year in 2001-02, he dressed in 46 games before he was dealt to the Florida Panthers for Kevyn Adams and Bret Hedican after just one-and-a-half seasons in Carolina.
Number 2- Doug Weight
When the NHL returned from the 2005 lockout, the St. Louis Blues found themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference. Looking to gain some assets for their veteran players, Doug Weight was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes on January 30, 2006 for Jesse Boulerice, a first round pick, and a pair of fourth round picks. Weight would help the Hurricanes to win their first Stanley Cup in 2006. In the offseason, he would return to the St. Louis Blues for another year-and-a-half before being dealt to Anaheim.
Number 1- Mark Recchi
Mark Recchi signed with the Penguins in the summer of 2004, but the lockout nullified his first season in his return to Pittsburgh. Once the lockout came to an end, the Penguins were at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in 2005-06. He was dealt to the Cup-contending Carolina Hurricanes at the 2006 trade deadline in exchange for a second-round pick and a pair of prospects. He scored seven goals and 16 points to help push the Hurricanes to win their first Stanley Cup. In the off-season he would once again re-sign with the Penguins.
Nikos Tselios was the very first draft pick of the Hurricanes upon their relocation from Hartford to Carolina. Taken 22nd overall in 1997, he made his NHL debut in April of 2002. He only suited up for two NHL games, spending the rest of his professional time in North America in the AHL.
Finding himself traded for the second time in three months, Wisniewski was dealt from the Anaheim Ducks to the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2015 NHL draft. He dressed for one game in Carolina where, just 47 seconds into his first shift in his first game, he tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season. That ended up being the last NHL game of his career as he couldn’t land a gig in the following season, instead opting to play in Europe.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.nbcsports.com