The Carolina Hurricanes are in the thick of training camp
As the Carolina Hurricanes continue to prepare for the NHL’s return to play they hit the ice yet again, this time joined by top prospect Joey Keane.
When the Carolina Hurricanes first named their expanded roster for the NHL’s return to play plan it was without one of their top defensive prospects in Joey Keane. While there was some rumors that he was a guy on the radar as a “black ace,” the depth on the blueline likely led to his omission.
Now, as things are ramping back up and with training camp underway , it appears as if Keane has joined the team for phase three after all.
First seen on ice for Wednesday practice, it is possible that he is just there to gain some familiarity with his new teammates and the Hurricanes’ coaching staff. Acquired earlier in the year from the New York Rangers, he hadn’t yet gotten a chance to meet everyone at the NHL level.
More than likely not to have a full training camp this upcoming year as well, this short time practicing with and being around the guys is a good idea. He’ll get a chance to see what it takes to be a Carolina Hurricane while the coaching staff can get an up close and personal look at him.
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At the same time, it is highly possible that this has something to do with Brett Pesce‘s status heading into phase four.
Initially expected to have a recovery time around mid to late August at the earliest, without any set backs, a decision will need to be made on Pesce in the coming days. If he isn’t going to be at 100% there is no need to rush him. The Canes have more than enough depth of the blueline and were fully expecting to be without him for the remainder of the season anyways, i.e. the trades of Vatanen and Skjei.
Since Pesce has yet to hit the ice with the team, it is seeming more and more likely that this will be the case. With him unable to play Keane would then be able to take his place in the bubble when they depart for Toronto.
Also, with Dougie Hamilton deemed as “unfit to play” after leaving Wednesdays practice with an apparent injury, it is possible Keane could be joining the group as additional assurance. The NHL is allowing teams to carry 31 skaters so Keane could even be added if they opt to bring Pesce along as well.
While we won’t be able to know the extent of the injuries to both players, as it is against the return to play rules for teams to disclose anything related to player’s injuries or health, Rod said he hopes it isn’t going to be anything long term with Dougie.
If he does tag along, having him around the club for the postseason is a smart idea. Coming off AHL All Star campaign as a rookie, just experiencing the NHL playoffs up close will go a long way in his development similar to that of Ryan Suzuki.
Question for CC readers: What are you thoughts on Joey Keane joining the team for phase three?