Canes could crumble if key player falters

Using the newly debuted projection system of Puck Prospectus, VUKOTA, Insider takes the temperature of players on every NHL team, checking in Wednesday with the Hurricanes.

Summer Skate -- Carolina Hurricanes

After exceeding expectations last season and making it all the way to the Conference Finals, the Hurricanes have their collective eyes on the Stanley Cup Finals next season. While that is always a difficult task, a rebound year from Erik Cole, along with continued production from Eric Staal, Ray Whitney and Tuomo Ruutu, will make that goal far more feasible. Unfortunately for Hurricanes fans, a return to the later rounds of the playoffs will be made more difficult if a linchpin player takes a significant step back in 2009-10. According to Puck Prospectus' projections, that will be exactly the case.

To see which player could soar, which could sink and which could be a potential impact prospect, you must be an ESPN Insider.