Last weekend, we enjoyed that eruption of live online hockey Saturday evening that included three games involving eight Canes players or prospects going on simultaneously. These games were happening in Lake Placid (USA vs FIN U-20 camps), Plymouth, MI (OHL Whalers Alumni game) and finally up in St Johns, Newfoundland (Team Canada intra-squad scrimmage, with Jeff Skinner selected to Captain Team Red). Since then, we've been back to nothing. Nada. Niente. Zilch.
But still, knowing this absence can't go on forever (right?), preparations for the new season are ongoing as the clock continues to count down.
The Hurricanes are coming to town
Are you going to be near downtown Raleigh starting August 23rd until Training Camp starts September 17th? Well, then you might want to print off a copy of this schedule: 2010 Camp BrindAmour at Reczone. And if not, be sure to keep an eye out here at the blog for stories and photos of real Hurricanes skating in full gear, right here in Raleigh, North Carolina! Starting a week from Monday, it's closer than you think.
This Monday, August 16th, relive the glory of the best Stanley Cup Final ever, when the NHL Network airs Carolina vs Edmonton, 2006 SCF Game 7 at 8pm. Spend the evening with your buddies here at Canes Country as we will be running a live gamethread to enhance your viewing enjoyment.
After the jump, much more on the youngest Hurricanes, the Whalers in Michigan, the NHL's uncertain agents, the Whalers in Connecticut, and the Cup traveling places you won't ever forget..
Everyone's favorite blogmeister Bob Wage, who now this season will be covering the Hurricanes for the national hockey blog "The Fourth Period", gets started with his first post yesterday The Fourth Period :: Carolina Hurricanes :: Off-Season Report on Hurricanes
And this was a well-read post on the front page here at Canes Country Wednesday, but here again is a reminder to check out Cory Lavalette's summer efforts (and they were neither quick nor easy) for the Hockey's Future site: Jamie McBain earns top spot among Carolina Hurricanes prospects - Hockey's Future with our Canes Country conversation here.
Shades of Sid in Hurricanes hopeful Skinner? - Buzzing The Net - Yahoo! Sports What would have happened to Jeff Skinner's pre-draft buzz if his training guru, universally respected former NHLer Gary Roberts, had said this before June 25? Here's Monday's story that got the Buzz started: Skinner training for spot - NewsObserver
Moving up to number 5 on the HF prospects list is 2009 2nd-rounder Brian Dumoulin, who participated in the Team USA U-20 Camp in Lake Placid last week. A Los Angeles blog talked to some of the notable young forwards and asked them to name who they thought was the top defenseman of the week. If the LA blog was hoping to hear it was their 2010 first round pick Derek Forbort, they were disappointed: MayorsManor.com: Tuesday's 10 Tidbits on Team USA's WJC Camp
Charlie Coyle - "We had some solid guys on D. I'd go with Brian Dumoulin (Carolina) from Boston College. [note: that's quite the compliment coming from a guy heading to Boston University in the fall] He's not really flashy or anything. But, when he has the puck you always know it's coming out. I hadn't played with him before, so he impressed me."
More love for Dumoulin, who won't turn 19 years old till after Labor Day: Inside College Hockey | INCH A-Z: Brian Dumoulin One of four freshman defensemen at Boston College last year, Dumoulin quickly distinguished himself as reliable beyond his years.
Teenagers of yesteryear: Can you name the only goalie on this list? A look at some of the NHL's best teenage debuts - NHL Insider It's tough for 18-year-olds to make an immediate impact in the NHL. NHL.com looks at some who did.
And some front office business as reviewed by the News & Observer's Luke DeCock: Canes' $44M question - NewsObserver.com As an overwhelmingly quiet summer winds down for the Carolina Hurricanes, with training camp a little more than a month away, it's clear the belt-tightening imposed by owner Peter Karmanos has had an effect on the roster.
Finally, we all know the above referenced budget cuts are part of the efforts to replace a minority partner in the ownership of the Carolina Hurricanes. For the more business-minded amongst us, some background on what it takes to sell (or buy) a major league sports franchise in this market, from CNBC this week (s/t to On the Forecheck for the find).
Big, Small, Free and Restricted, the ones playing hockey and the ones who negotiate contracts:
So I want to know: Is the Devil in the Details? The Full Document: Richard Bloch's Ruling In The Ilya Kovalchuk Arbitration Case - SBNation.com
Bettman gains hammer after Kovalchuk fallout - Elliotte Friedman Well thought-out piece looking forward to the longterm consequences of Monday's announcement as Friedman looks at some of the CBA's lesser known fine print.
Ilya Kovalchuk's not the only one whose 2010-11 team remains TBD. Pisani still floats in free-agent limbo, from Edmonton which describes the bigger picture for all those without a contract, still. Does this sound familiar?
Teams are going younger with their bottom six forwards, also cheaper, in most cases. Many teams are up against the cap and can't add anybody else, or have their internal budget, which could be a long way from the cap ceiling of $59.4 million.
Rangers Analysis: Determining Marc Staal's Value - Blueshirt Banter Taking a look at the value of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal.
Where's the Cup?
Last weekend Blackhawks Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky enjoyed their day with the Cup in Slovakia. Marian Hossa & Stanley Cup - CAS.sk - Sport Here's a clear-enough translation of Hossa's day: First it was dinner. He gave the proper dose of Sheep cheese pies, and then took her into bed. Great photos.
We saw a few breathtaking views from the mountaintop in July, but here's the whole roll: Fuller Edge Photography Blog - Andrew Ladd . Stanley Cup Party! From a photographer whose motto is "Edgy wedding and portrait photography", see the full collection of edgy Cup portraits with Andrew Ladd and his fiancee. What do you think?
And in Buffalo today, Kane's time with Cup starts at Niagara Falls - Chicago Breaking Sports - then later this afternoon Patrick Kane and the Cup were temporarily stuck 100-feet in the air when the bucket of the fire truck he was in malfunctioned. As Dan Rosen, who is covering today of NHL.com, tweeted when Kane returned to terra firma:
Kane's legs were visibly shaking as he stepped down. "It was scary, but anything with the Cup is unexpected. I'm just happy I'm out."
It's been a wild day in Buffalo. More here.
News on International hockey
There's been a lot of talk about the risks of draft picks who come from Russia, and lately about players going to the KHL. Here's an analysis the looks at the real numbers over the last decade and draws some interesting conclusions, in particular on the gains made by US-born players: HabsWatch - Providing insight on the Montreal Canadiens: Paradigm shift – The NHL's exodus from Europe Today, more kids than ever are entering the NCAA as drafted NHL prospects and those with a legitimate shot are leaving sooner as a result.
Record overseas slate highlights NHL pre-season schedule - NHL.com - Schedule An historic number of NHL clubs playing international games highlights the NHL's 2010-11 pre-season schedule.
More from Media Day with the Finnish players of the Hurricanes and the Wild in Helsinki last week: Jokerit.com WILD AND HURRICANES STARS ARE WAITING FOR THE PREMIERE (Translated by Google)
Tuomo Ruutu, the Carolina Hurricanes winger, is known for his reckless playing style, which was seen during his first few years. Ruutu automatically lights up talking about the NHL's opening and is even concerned about the energy being too much. "Extra energy [adrenalin] is already the case in the opening games of the season. Now, we'll also be in Finland. Friends, relatives and the parents will be in the stadium. During the game, you might not think so, but yes, certainly there will be a bit of extra energy. Hopefully, the first 20 minutes, I'll at least be able to keep my feet on the ground," Ruutu joked.
Whalers of Plymouth (Michigan)
Enjoy this charity game showcasing the alumni of the OHL's Plymouth Whalers including three current players of the Hurricanes system: Chad LaRose (White #17), Justin Peters (Blue goalie, #35) and Chris Terry (Blue #20). Here's the whole roster with more than a few NHLers making the trip "home".
Then some interviews: Chad LaRose Interview
Last, check out the interview with young prospect Chris Terry who made some memories for the Plymouth fans when he played with the Whalers a few years back.
Whalers in Hartford (Connecticut)...?
Apparently there's a movement underway to restore hockey to Connecticut's capital city and it's getting support from those who love nostalgia. Moreover, Ron Francis and Kevin Dineen will be on hand for the reunion this weekend. Here's the website: Whaler Nation - The Official Web Site for Hartford Whalers Fans by Mark Willand
From the Top: Former Whalers owner wants to bring NHL back to state - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin The former owner of the National Hockey League franchise took his traveling promotional show to Norwich on Friday as he continues to try to build support to bring the team back to Connecticut.
Fan Fest Needs To Send A Message To Corporate - Courant.com We will get your Ron Francis quotes and your Kevin Dineen quotes. We'll even get you Chris Kotsopoulos quotes.....Nostalgia factor aside, the Whalers Reunion & Fan Fest is a chance to let the NHL know that in the fans' hearts, the Whale never really left.
Women changing the sport
For the women who medaled at the Olympics who then had nowhere to play, this is cool: The Hockey News: Special Features: VIDEO: CWHL draft takes women’s game to new heights The Canadian Women’s League held its first entry draft at the Hockey Hall of Fame Thursday, August 12. The three Greater Toronto Area teams drafted their rosters for the 2010-11 season, with Canadian Olympic gold medalist Tessa Bonhomme going first overall to Toronto.
For women who want better threads to express their fandom, another grassroots movement is getting some links: Campaigning for Change After seeing the new Champagne jerseys, I had a fit of rage. Normally I tell myself to remain professional, to write about it after I have cooled down, but not this time. This time it was too much. The wording, the out of touch fashion sense, let alone the fact that they were missing their mark with some of their biggest fans. I'm trying to figure out if the absence of this notorious Champagne jersey as a Hurricanes option is a slight, or in fact, a sign of respect for the female hockey fans of Carolina.
Finally, I'll be out of town next week on a family fun trip, but will surely be following along here and via twitter when I can. And for now, I'm pleased to tell you there are just 34 days and 18 hours till Training Camp begins.