Losing Max Pacioretty for 6 months is not ideal for the Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes will be without Max Pacioretty when the 2022-23 NHL season kicks off, as it was announced today that he would miss the start of the season due to surgery to repair a torn Achilles. 

The Carolina Hurricanes expect Pacioretty’s recovery time to be about six months which will put his eventual return no earlier than midway through February at the earliest. This is a big loss to the Hurricanes lineup after trading for Pacioretty this offseason.

In July, the Hurricanes traded future considerations to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Pacioretty and Dylan Coghlan. This deal helped the Knights clear up some cap space and gave the Hurricanes a top-six forward in Pacioretty for the foreseeable future.

In 39 games this past season, Pacioretty put up 37 points during that time with the Golden Knights. He is a leader and an experienced player who has played in 850 games to date. This is a big blow to the Hurricanes’ depth and potential lineup to start the 2022-23 NHL season.

This is what the opening night lineup looks like thanks to our friends over at Cardiac Cane:

While that is a relatively strong top six, with Kotkaniemi expected to take on a bigger role, this is not nearly as competitive as fans would have liked to see going into the new year. The Hurricanes were favorites to win their division and compete once again for the Stanley Cup, but with this lineup, they might not be as dominant as expected.

The Hurricanes will have some cap space to work with now that Pacioretty will miss a big part of the season, however with Jake Gardiner back they won’t have as much room to work with to add another offensive threat to their lineup.

This is still a good Hurricanes team with stars like Aho, Svechnikov and Teravainen ready to lead the team to victory, but it will be interesting to see how the bottom six does now without Pacioretty in the mix.