NHL Rumors: 3 Carolina Hurricanes Not Expected Back Next Season

The Carolina Hurricanes had some horrible luck down the stretch as the team had to rely on their third-string netminder in a Game 7. Injuries played a huge factor in the outcome of their season and now management quickly turns their attention to this upcoming offseason. Expect some changes to the 'Canes roster for 2022-23, and here's three players who at this point, are not expected back next season:

Derek Stepan

While the Hurricanes have a few free agents who are likely to re-sign, veteran forward Derek Stepan is not one of the them. The 31-year-old appeared in 51 regular season games in 2021-22, recording 19 points and appeared in three Stanley Cup Playoff games, and was unable to hit the score sheet. The 'Canes need some upgrades to their bottom six and Stepan is someone who will be replaced. 

Max Domi

While it wasn't the worst trade in Carolina history, Max Domi may not have made a good enough impression to stick around town. The speedy/pesky winger was clutch in Game 7's during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and his six points in 14 postseason games may have caught the attention of other teams. Domi is an unrestricted free agent come July 13 and there's expected to be a number of suitors who may have more interest then Carolina has in keeping the player around. His offensive production has fallen off the map in recent years and now he's becoming more of a third-line checking winger who can move up and down the lineup when injuries occur. Look for Carolina to move on from Domi this summer.

Nino Niederreiter

Carolina will have some competition when it comes to getting Nino Niederreiter's pen to paper. The 29-year-old plays a heavy game and has a mix of intangibles that will generate a ton of interest on the open market Come July 13, teams will be lining up to sign the 6-foot-2 winger and if Carolina doesn't get an extension done before the market opens, they are in big trouble. This season he recorded 44 points in 75 games and cooled off a touch in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with only five points in 14 games. 20-goal scorers don't grow on trees, especially ones with almost 100 games of postseason experience. Look for someone to overpay this summer.

Photo credit:  James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports