Ever since the speculation of Jordan Staal moving to the Carolina Hurricanes came into being, what the lines will look like in Raleigh has been question one. There are half a dozen possibilities worth considering, and immeasurable others.
Both Jordan and Eric Staal have played the wings, Jordan more often given his now former teammates. Skinner, and Ruutu have also played out of position as well. If the Canes decide to go loaded for bear and make their top line a three man threat lines could shake out like this( R-C-L) :
- E Staal – J Staal – A Semin
- J Tlusty – T Ruutu – J Skinner
- J Jokinen – T Brent – C LaRose
If they look to go for something that looks more like a top nine than a top six:
- J Jokien – E Staal – A Semin
- J Tlusty – J Staal – J Skinner
- A Stewart – T Ruutu – C LaRose
Personally speaking, I think the latter set of lines is more sustainable over the course of a season. If Kirk Muller and company are smart, the they’ll make adjustments as the season goes along, and based on the competition. If they aren’t, well we’ll all get to refresh our lists of available NHL coaches. I suspect that a top criteria for figuring out who makes the cut this year at forward will be how well they play defensively because whatever else happens, even if a significant addition is made to the defense, the forwards will have to contribute to the defense of this team even more than last year.