The Carolina Hurricanes have no shortage of defenders
The return of hockey means the return of Dougie Hamilton and the debut of Sami Vatanen.
The Canes find themselves in a very curious situation defensively, perhaps with no easy answer. Sami Vatanen was acquired at the tread deadline in a move meant to bolster the defense in the absence of Dougie Hamilton. An injury setback combined with the pandemic means that Vatanen has not played a single minute on the ice with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sara Civian for the Athletic (paywall) makes an excellent argument that it is unwise to spend money towards the cap on any of the defensive free agents, which include Sami Vatanen.
She also says in another article that “it would make just as much sense for both parties to move on from what will likely end up being an unfortunately failed experiment.” Unfortunately, it is hard to argue with this line of logic.
However, given that the playoffs are throwing a wrench in traditional plans for the franchise, it is possible that Vatanen may impress the organization in training camp and the postseason enough that they will produce a contract. Caniacs should keep a close eye on Sami Vatanen during training camp because it may either make or break his future with the organization.
Brady Skjei is also a question mark, albeit a smaller one. I was impressed with his brief time with the Hurricanes so far, and I think that like Trocheck training camp will be an important opportunity for Skjei to further acclimate to the team.
Jake Bean is a favorite topic among Caniacs, and for good reason. The Checkers defensemen continue to wow fans as he accumulated 48 points with the Checkers for the 2019-2020 season. I think it is high time that the Canes add Bean to the roster, as he might be vital to replace Trevor van Riemsdyk or Joel Edmundson if they are not signed. I except this training camp performance to be the final appearance of the young defenseman as a Checker before he debuts on the main roster.
For our final act, we have the hidden gems and dark horses of Training Camp.