RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — General manager Jim Rutherford wants his Carolina Hurricanes to get tougher.
Rutherford said Thursday he wants to add one or two veteran defensemen this offseason.
The Hurricanes missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year and sixth time in seven seasons.
Rutherford says one reason for their struggles was the domino effect that followed injuries to goalie Cam Ward and key defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Justin Faulk. He says when they were hurt, the other defensemen had trouble filling those roles.
Rutherford says he's looking for "the right fit" because "everybody's looking for defensemen."
He says the Hurricanes will spend closer to the salary cap because realignment placed them in a division with several big-spending teams — including Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers.