Since their first season (and prior to it, actually, when they were Hartford), the Carolina Hurricanes have been among the group of teams that’ve made me want to flip channels. In fact, I literally made a list just last season that ranked them as the #1 team I skip when checking which games are on.

And I quoteth myself:

Save for their Stanley  Cup year (which was out of left field), it feels like they’re constantly a non-contending non-playoff team. They’re the wrestler whose job it is to make the star look good (after a quick Google search, that makes them “Jabronis,” apparently). I associate the team with names like Tim Brent, Patrick Dwyer, Jay Harrison and others that make you go… “Y’know, I think I’ll go watch an Oilers game or something.”

I think those wrestlers are also called “jobbers,” Bourne. But anyway.

A few moves later, and I’m suddenly more excited to watch Carolina play than any other team. Seriously.

Consider: what team has better top-end talent than the ‘Canes up front?

Their top six forwards:

Eric Staal
Jordan Staal
Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner
Jussi Jokinen
Tuomo Ruutu

The only teams that can really touch them are Chicago, with:

Marian Hossa
Patrick Kane
Jonathan Toews
Patrick Sharpe

…and I guess…

Viktor Stalberg
David Bolland

and the New York Rangers, with

Rick Nash
Marian Gaborik
Brad Richards
Derek Stepan
Ryan Callahan
Chris Kreider

Honorable mention to the Ducks, Red Wings, Kings, Sharks and the Future Oilers, when it comes to having two elite lines (a number of teams have four solid forwards, then a massive drop off).

As an offensive-minded hockey guy, I’m pumped to see what they can do.

What might be a little bit scary for Canes fans is that they kind of remind me of Columbus last year. “Finally, they got a big name player to work with Rick Nash in Jeff Carter! Nice, a quality D-man in James Wisniewski! The Blue Jackets are finally going for oh god what just happened.”

The good news is, they don’t have Scott Howson as a GM, who I assume placed his panic button on his office chair at mid-season, thus hitting it every time he sat down.

The Canes have a great goalie in Cam Ward, and since their d-corps is more than a little suspect, there should be plenty of chances both ways.

It’s the perfect equation for exciting hockey – a ton of skill, bad D and great goaltending.

When the season starts up on October 11th (or shortly after), it’ll be the first time in my life I’ve set my DVR to catch a Canes game. It appears as though the Caps are off the hook when it comes to Systems Analyst posts – Carolina, you’re under the microscope this year.