The Hurricanes were arguably the NHL’s busiest team the past six months, adding Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin to their top six while committing more than $150 million in guaranteed money to both their new acquisitions and their core players.

The focus is clearly on winning — and winning now. Carolina traded one of their top prospects in defenseman Brian Dumoulin to Pittsburgh to land Staal, and the one-year deal for Semin shows that Carolina’s braintrust is willing to take a risk.

1. (1) Ryan Murphy, D, 8.0C
Drafted 1st round, 12th overall, 2011

Carolina’s defensive corps looks full to start 2012-13, but don’t count Murphy out of the mix. The prevailing opinion is that Murphy wouldn’t get much out of another season of junior hockey, so Carolina may opt to keep him with the team and ease him into the lineup.