Atlanta Thrashers: 26-26-11, 63 pts, 11th in East, 4th in Southeast
The Thrashers are just 4 points out of the playoffs, but have faded over the last few weeks, and look like they’ll be golfing in April again this season. The Thrashers continue to struggle to get the right mix of talent together down in Atlanta, and it will be interesting to see what happens. They’ve already moved out Rich Peverley, Boris Valabik and Brent Sopel, but you can bet if anyone comes calling about just about anyone on the roster aside from Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane or Ondrej Pavelec, they’ll listen. >
Carolina Hurricanes: 29-25-9, 67 pts, 8th in East, 3rd in Southeast
Locked in a tight battle for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Hurricanes are probably just about done making moves, as they sent Ian White to San Jose last week, but acquired Cory Stillman from Florida earlier this week. They have a good mix of both scoring and grit, along with youth and veteran presence, and with a lot of the pieces from their Cup run still in place, they could be a tough out for just about anyone come playoff time.
Florida Panthers: 26-29-7, 59 pts, 12th in East, 5th in Southeast
GM Dale Tallon has the monumental task of attempting to construct a meaningful franchise in a market that isn’t exactly hockey crazy, and has seen years of mismanagement. Captain Bryan McCabe has already been dealt out, while veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun could be next. Center Stephen Weiss is very appealing with a cap hit of just $3.1 million, while David Booth has garnered interest as well. Just about anyone on the roster, aside from youngsters like Dmitri Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson should be available at this point. Time to tear it down and start over.