5.18.24 EID Quotebook

RALEIGH, NC. - Under 48 hours after the team's quest for a Stanley Cup was closed by the New York Rangers in the second round, the Carolina Hurricanes began their end-of-season media availabilities.

About half the team took questions from reporters on Saturday, with the other half expected to on Sunday.  Rod Brind'Amour and Don Waddell will speak at a date to be announced.

Here are some of the most key things said from today's session at PNC Arena.

Frederik Andersen had an unexpected turn in his season when he was diagnosed with a blood-clotting issue in November, causing him to miss over four months.

Asked to reflect on the season as a whole today, he expressed gratitude just to be able to put on his skates again.

"It's tough to describe the feeling of being able to walk back in the locker room. Not only that but being able to play the game that I love to play. It's a lot of emotions and obviously, a huge relief to be able to do that. I've had amazing support around me this whole time, everyone from family to teammates and all doctors I've seen, has been outstanding."

In The Room: Andersen

Brent Burns was thoughtful today, as he always is, speaking for close to 15 minutes on his career and the difficult end to the season.

"You have to accept it and use it for the next year's motivation. Whether you're young or old, it's tough. It's hard to realize that there's not always a chance at [winning the Stanley Cup]. You have to really embrace the chance at it that we did. We had such an unbelievable group, from the staff down. You have to enjoy that and feel the hurt when it doesn't happen."

In The Room: Brent Burns

Tony DeAngelo didn't have the season he expected, largely relegated to the role of the seventh defenseman until Brett Pesce's injury opened an opportunity in the playoffs.

The now two-time Hurricane said it's important for him to play more games next season, regardless of where that is, but he would consider coming back to Carolina once again.

"More games is going to be the most important thing. I want to play. But you've got to earn it. [Re-signing] will always be an option because of the way I feel about Roddy... The relationship I've had with him, even in some tough times this year when I wasn't happy that I wasn't playing, it was never anything personal. As long as he's here, it would be an option."

In The Room: Tony DeAngelo

Jake Guentzel was every bit as advertised after the Canes made a big splash to acquire him at the trade deadline.

Fitting in seamlessly and producing 25 points in 17 games during the regular season, he added nine more points in 11 postseason games.

Because of that, and the success he had in Pittsburgh, the 29-year-old is going to get paid in a major way this summer.

Will it be in Raleigh?

"I've loved my experience here. I've loved it here. It's a great place to play. I don't think you realize behind the scenes how good it is. The guys make it good too. We'll see what happens... This team for sure can win a Stanley Cup. I think it's right there... I want to win more than anything and that's all I care about."

In The Room: Jake Guentzel

Perhaps nobody had more of a roller coaster of a year than Evgeny Kuznetsov.

From spending time in the NHL/NHLPA Players' Assistant Program to being placed on waivers and then being dealt to a new team for the first time in his NHL career, "Kuzy" had a lot to look back on.

With his usual cheery demeanor, he once again showed appreciation for being where he is today.

"It's a lot of emotions, right? I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be here and still playing in the NHL. It's hard to put the words together."

In The Room: Kuznetsov

First-year Hurricane Dmitry Orlov said that it "sucked" having to be answering questions today instead of playing in a Game 7.

When asked to assess his game as a whole, #7 was honest.

"My first half wasn't good enough for me, but in the second half I started to pick it up and play much better.  I felt more comfortable.  I think I showed I can play on this team."

In The Room: Dmitry Orlov

Brett Pesce revealed that he suffered a fractured fibula during the first round series against the Islanders, but was close to coming back toward the end of the second round.

He believes the injury was initially suffered when blocking a shot in Game 2, and then the since-posted ugly-looking clip made matters worse.

Now an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, he said he'd love to be back in Raleigh.

"I'm hopeful we can work something out here. Everyone knows I love it here. I love the guys, I love the core, and I still think we can get it done."

In The Room: Brett Pesce

Jaccob Slavin has been here through each shortcoming of the last six years, but he admitted today that this year may be the most frustrating postseason exit yet.

"Look at the team we had, this year especially.  We had all the pieces to get over that hump.  Look at the games we lost, every game was a one-goal game again.  It's frustrating to lose games in overtime or in the last period.  It's frustrating in the regard that we are right there year after year, but you never get over that hump.  It's frustrating.  This was definitely the year if we were going to do it, out of all the years that we've had.  It's frustrating."

In The Room: Jaccob Slavin

Brady Skjei will be one of the most coveted defenders on the market if he hits free agency this summer.

After being acquired via trade in 2020, he spoke very highly of his time in Raleigh and wants to get something done, but above all, he wants "a fair offer."

"There hasn't been a ton [of talks]. We've done a good job of focusing on the season this year and I didn't really think about it that much.  (Talks) will probably pick up now before July 1.  It's an unbelievable place, a great place here - coaching staff, players, medical, everything.  It's an unbelievable place and we'll see what happens in the next month or so."

In The Room: Brady Skjei

The disappointment remained on the face of Jordan Staal, who was one of the first to the microphones today.

Although the wound is still fresh, he believes that the current group can get the job done if they are able to run it back next year.

"We've built some great teams here and we have come up short. It's been frustrating. A few plays here and there, things could look different. Blowing it all up or changing everything is kind of a knee-jerk reaction, I think. We've got a great core here with some really good players that could be good for a long time."

In The Room: Jordan Staal

At last year's exit interviews, Teuvo Teravainen said he just wanted to forget everything about the season that was. He battled injuries throughout the season and lost a close family member.

Today, he said he feels like more of himself again after a 25-goal season.

"The year before wasn't great. I had some injuries and wasn't feeling that good on the ice. This year I think I got back on the right track."

In The Room: Teuvo Teravainen

Tomorrow's Availabilities...

Sunday we are expecting to hear from some or all of the below players:

• Sebastian Aho

• Jalen Chatfield

• Jack Drury

• Jesper Fast

• Seth Jarvis

• Pyotr Kochetkov

• Jesperi Kotkaniemi

• Brendan Lemieux

• Jordan Martinook

• Stefan Noesen

• Andrei Svechnikov

We will not hear from Martin Necas because he is already overseas playing at the World Championship for Czechia.

All availabilities will once again be posted in full here on Hurricanes.com.