The Carolina Hurricanes began Training Camp on Monday
The Carolina Hurricanes have officially hit the ice for training camp. Here are the major takeaways from the first day of Camp before the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Phase three is finally here. We are now only three weeks away from phase four and the official return to the playoffs. In two weeks the Carolina Hurricanes will be on a plane to Toronto to get a week of pre-season style exhibition games before the puck officially drops between them and the New York Rangers.
So, here we are on a hot summer mid-July day and we are enjoying Hockey Training Camp like never before. Honestly, I am excited for the next two weeks as we all get reacquainted with our favorite players:
Let’s start with the important things first, who showed up and who did not. There was only a single no-show from the main roster: Martin Necas. In his stead, the legendary Morgan Geekie stepped in to fill out the fourth line. Here is how the rest of the offensive lines looked like:
Before we freak out about Martin Necas and if he has COVID, let’s wait to see if there are other outside reasons for his absence. As of right now, the policy is to not identify any players that do test positive. The fact that the rest of the players did show up is excellent news. Necas may still yet show up for future practices.
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Brett Pesce is still the only one officially injured for the team. He is expected to begin skating next month with the possibility of practice with contact by September. According to Don Waddell however, there is no reason to take him to Toronto even with the playoffs expected to go deep into October. This is a balance between salary cap issues and ensuring that Brett gets the proper recovery time.
Dougie Hamilton seems to be getting back to 100%. “I feel good. It’s getting better and better as I go” He told the media today. By the time the puck drops, expect him to be back, filling the roles he had before the injury in January.
The goaltending duo of James Reimer and Petr Mrazek is back as well as defender Sami Vatanen. Vatanen’s trade is actually going to arbitration as the Hurricanes and Devils figure out the draft pick that will be going back to New Jersey.
Jordan Staal is the captain on the ice and in the locker room. There has been little doubt about that. When asked about training camp and where the team is headed he had this to say:
"“There was a lot of energy. Everyone here is excited to get going. … It’s back on. We’re back on the ice, and we’re going to be fighting for a chance for the Cup.”“We’ve got a team hungry for another run and hungry for a Cup.”"
You have to feel good about a leader like that who is willing to actually give the needed energy to take this team into a deep run. But what about the last Captain who did take the team into a deep run? He showed up today ready to help Staal fulfill that promise:
I am not surprised. Are you?
The coaching showed up today as well. Naturally, Rod Brind’amour is more than just a hockey coach to this team. He leads in all aspects of life and this is a team that looks to him on and off the ice. He is the reason this team has gained the respect of the league and continues to do so. Even when it comes to safety off the ice:
"“Are we wearing masks? Of course.”"
If Rod the Bod, the man who can probably fight a bear single-handedly is wearing a mask around anyone who isn’t tested and confirmed to not have the virus (even though he himself got tested and is confirmed to not have it) perhaps we should all do the same.
Naturally training camp ended with one of his legendary on the spot speeches:
That has got to get you pumped up for the upcoming weeks. This is going to be a wild ride.
Question for CC Readers: How do you feel about this team after day 1 of camp?