March 6, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk (28) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning goal against the Washington Capitals in overtime at Verizon Center. The Hurricanes won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Let The Games Begin

Caniacs, the day has finally arrived! The NHL and NHLPA have come to a tentative agreement and frame work for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  After 133 days of being without Carolina Hurricanes hockey I am pleased to announce that we will once again be able to watch the Hurricanes dominate on the ice. So, with the 2013 season beginning no later than the 19th of January, we can expect to see a lot of transactions in the upcoming days.  For instance, Justin Faulk is in the line-up for the Charlotte Checkers today for what is most likely the last time of the season for Charlotte. There will be a shortened training camp session for all players to try out and I would expect to see guys like Drayson Bowman, Zac Dalpe and Zach Boychuk earning a spot for a couple of games as a trial.

The four are Charlotte’s top scorers, Boychuk leading the way with 15 goals this season. Each one of them would bring big things to the table for Carolina.  Today’s game will put much of the focus on them and how they perform with the camp just around the corner now.

What Do They Have to Offer:

  • Zach Boychuk: Currently Boychuk is the Checkers leading goal scorer with 15 goals including 7 power play goals in 35 games played.  He is averaging .89 goals per game with 98 shots on goal this season.  Boychuk is easily one of the Checkers offensive leaders and would make a great third or fourth line addition to the Hurricanes, despite the offensive depth they currently possess with the off-season signings of Alex Semin and Jordan Staal.
  • Justin Faulk: It is presumed that Faulk will be alongside Jay Harrison as the second line defensive pairing. With the Checkers this season Faulk has made 30 appearances and has 5 goals and 19 assists.
  • Drayson Bowman: Bowman holds the team’s second-highest goals scored average with 14 and has 7 assists for the Checkers.  He has also recorded the team’s second-highest shots on goal this season with 109.
  • Zac Dalpe also has a lot to offer the Hurricanes, assuming he could perform the same way at a higher level of competition.  In 34 games this season he holds the team high +8 rating, 114 shots on goal and has 21 points for the Checkers.

With this kind of net presence the Hurricanes would undeniably be an unstoppable offensive force.

Staal Ready to Make Himself Known:

After being traded and signed to the Carolina Hurricanes on his wedding day, he has been anxiously awaiting this day.  Staal is expected to be skating alongside his brother Eric and right wing Jeff Skinner.  He, along with his brother and other Canes teammates have been working in Raleigh and recently have been working on putting th ebody on their opponents.

“It can get tiring. It’s a whole different aspect than skating around. We started to push each other around and it definitely gets you to another level,” Staal told reporter Peter Koutroumpis ““I think I need about a week or so and I think the body will definitely come back into (NHL) shape. I still feel good out there, but it’s nowhere near to game shape – not until you really starting getting through training camp and getting prepared for the season.”

Well Caniacs, it looks like the Christmas wish, though a little late, has finally come true. What a way to ring in the new year. #LetsGoCanes


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