Originally written on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 7/2/12
For the last three seasons, the Carolina Hurricanes have wandered in the playoff wilderness. This offseason general manager Jim Rutherford looks like hes not only trying to make sure that that doesnt happen again, but he looks like he wants to return the Hurricanes to being a serious player in the East. Having already pulled off the trade with Pittsburgh for center Jordan Staal and then signed Staal to a 10-year, 60 million contract extension on Sunday, the Hurricanes are likely to appear on many prognosticators lists to find their way back to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since the Canes reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009. They also could challenge for the Southeast Division. Rutherford, whose team has appeared in the Stanley Cup Final twice since 2002, winning it in 06, is showing that he is not content with having Staal brothers as bookends. If this is the team we start with, I think were going to be more competitive, he told reporters on Sunday, acco...
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