These days of final cuts before the season starts are always bittersweet for me.Â On one hand, IÂ can't wait until the season starts and this is another step to dropping the puck on opening night.Â On the other hand, several players who had dreams of playing in the NHL are being told, "not now" and have to pack their bags and leave town.Â Â Being sent to the minors after a taste of NHL life has to be a heavy blow to many.Â This pertains to the youngsters who remain one step away from the limelight, as well asÂ the veterans whose slipping talents are nowÂ borderline NHL quality.Â Â As disappointing as it must be initially, theyÂ need toÂ keep their chins up and keep working hard.Â After all, they are just a groin injury away from being called back and they need to be ready mentally as well as physically.Â Good examples of people being cut last year were Chad LaRose and Craig Adams.Â (Adams was initiallyÂ cutÂ by the Ducks).Â They were both called up later in the year and both contributed.Â They contributedÂ so muchÂ that their names are nowÂ etched on the Stanley Cup!Â So even though your time is not now boys, keep your heads up.Â Â You never know what the future brings if you don't give up!
I was going to make some predictions about who would make the team, but late yesterday the Hurricanes took allÂ the guess work out of who they were going to keep!Â They made their final cutsÂ with the onlyÂ question being whether Woolley will stay or go.Â The remaining forwards are:
Adams, Adams, Brind'amour, Cole, Bayda, Ladd, LaRose, Whitney, Wiiliams, Letowski, Walker, and Staal.Â That's just 12 forwards, really the bare minimum to keep.Â The surprise of the group is Bayda making it over Willis or Isbister.Â Willis looked like the best offensively of the group, but Bayda is a more physical player and is more suited to Lavi's forechecking style.Â I'm sure Ryan knows he is on perpetual audition though and could change places with any of theÂ players previously cut at any time.Â It really is, "Livin on the Edge", but that's a different song and a topic for another day!
So far we have keptÂ 9 defensemen which doesn't really assure Jason Woolley of anything because under normal circumstances we would not keep more than 8.Â Supposedly Hedican, Hutchinson, and Wallin are back in the fold after taking some time off for a variety of nagging injuries but if one of them can't go come regular season, that bodes well for woolleybear making the team.Â Â Along withÂ Woolley, Hedican, Wallin, and Hutch, we also kept Commodore, Tverdovsky, Tanabe,Â Wesley,Â Â and Babchuk.Â
The disappointing part of this for me was to see Derrick Walser sent to the River Rats.Â I really enjoyed watching him and thought he looked better at times than Woolley, but Jason does have experience that can't be duplicated.Â Also there is some talk out there that Walser has a sore groin which has affected his skating recently.Â If that is the case then heÂ is better off gettingÂ healthy again inÂ the minorsÂ and getting himself ready for aÂ call up.Â Good luck Derrick, we'll be keeping an eyeÂ on you up there in Albany and I'll be reporting on your progress from time to time on the blog!Â Â
Yesterday the Canes went to Fort Bragg for some team building drills and today they are golfing in Pinehurst.Â They have had some perfect weather toÂ enjoy this!Â Good luck to Professor Laviolette in conjuring up some winning chemistry!Â
One more week til opening night!Â Â Â Â
Bryan AdamsÂ Â Â Â Â Â