Toronto's Lukas Rossi just won the title of Rockstar in the hit show "Rockstar Supernova", the 2nd straight Canadian to win the title in as many years, but the Stanley Cup still resides in Raleigh for now. I mention this because Monday is my big day as a season ticketholder to meet the Cup! The Canes have set aside Monday and Tuesday for season ticketholders to come in and spend some time with Lord Stanley's best and I can't wait! The only thing better would be to actually see the Canes names on it, but we have to wait a bit for that yet. Later in the month the Cup returns to Toronto for some "renovating". The top ring comes off, (removing the great Leafs teams of the 40's) and a new ring replaces it with the names of our heros on it. I must admit, this is a day I thought wouldn't come for many years, if at all. Hopefully I can take a decent photo.
In training camp news, new players are trying to do exactly what Rossi's song title dictates, make Laviolette's "headspin", or at least make it turn a bit. A few players are doing exactly that! First of all, Brind'Amour and Cole look as though they have not lost a step since the playoffs. They both look in mid-season form but obviously they don't have to impress anyone at this point. Newly acquired vets Isbister, Woolley, and Walker have all looked good. Technically, Woolley doesn't have a contract yet, but if he keeps up his present performance I bet he will. My dark horse pick Derrick Walser has looked good on the shoot out drills. I can see why he scored so many points in juniors! The question is, can he play defense? We will soon find out. Finally, the surprise of the camp in my opinion has been the man wearing the highest number in training camp, number 72. Nicolas Blanchard was our 6th round pick back in 2005 and his juniors numbers aren't spectacular, but this kid can skate and has speed to burn. He certainly got Lavi's attention and coach gave him a bit of a 1 on 1 chitchat (atta-boy) on Saturday. Can the kid actually make the team? It's still a long shot at this point, but I suppose crazier things have happened. Let's see what he can do in scrimmages and exhibition games. Go Nic!
More pics and details later.