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April 9, 2012 | 10:58am ET
Coach says team is a few changes away

Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller believes his team is a few changes away from being Stanley Cup playoff contenders, reports the Raleigh News & Observer.

"I'd like to think we'll be able to start, right from the beginning, with everyone understanding what the expectations are," Muller told the paper. "I think the players know what they have to do to prepare, to come into training camp knowing the system, knowing you have to skate, knowing that we've got to be in top shape.

"We need the mental attitude that game one is going to be just as important as game 60 or 70. We have to get off to a good start. We'll have all summer to reflect on how we felt today -- not making the playoffs."

Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford expects to be very busy this summer, as the team is likely to pursue at least one high-priced free agent in July. Rutherford is also going to be exploring the trade route, as he looks to bolster his roster for the 2012-13 campaign.

"When you don't make the playoffs, it's an indication we've got work to do in the summer and some areas to get better at," Muller said. "I think with a few changes and a few tweaks here and there, we should be competing for the playoffs."

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