Some CBS.com blogger dude prediction about the 2013 season:
The Carolina Hurricanes will not only make the playoffs, they will advance past the first round: Now here is a team whose offseason moves (Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin) might actually get them into the playoffs. And out of the first round.
The addition of Staal gives the Hurricanes one of the best two-way centers in the NHL, and he will have an opportunity to blossom offensively now that he will get a top-line role.
Semin has his critics (and his flaws), but he's a highly skilled and extremely productive player who makes the Hurricanes stronger -- and since they signed him away from a division opponent (Washington), it weakens one of their top competitors.
And the division itself is still the most winnable in the league. (Another way of putting it: the worst division in the league).