I think it may be time for a trade. The team just looks lethargic. They just can't find the consistency this year. They are getting outworked and losing all of the one on one battles along the boards. This never happened last year.
What move can they make? I have no clue. They already traded the one huge commodity they had in Jack Johnson. (And yes, they should have got more in return). They really don't have any other tradeable prospects due to many poor drafts over the years. They have Staal, Ladd, and Ward. That is all they really have to show the recent drafts. I am seriously scared that they may trade Ladd, as he is the one young player I think they would consider moving. It would be a mistake.
The problem is that the Canes have no scoring depth. If the top two lines do not score, they lose. The fourth line does not help out at all and the third line needs to start carrying their weight. Rutherford made some a nice move picking up Walker. But the rest of his offseason moves have backfired. Walker is the only player who has contributed anything.
The real problem is the defense. They do not have anyone who can make the nice outlet passes to the forwards in stride. They need some help on the blue line.
I don't know. The injuries have definitely hurt. There may just be too many holes to fill right now and the Canes may have to just suck it up and try to stay in the playoff race. Once healthy, this team is dangerous. It just seems that everytime they get a player back, someone else gets hurt.