Four months ago: remembering the last time we saw the Hurricanes on the ice in North Carolina, in front of a sold-out crowd at the RBC Center, April 8 2010. Photo by LTD.
Here's a great compliment from the latest hockey name to join the Carolina hockey family, coming with a message from Mike McKenzie via twitter this morning:
MikeMcKenzie11: What I learned on Twitter this week: The people of NC and FLA are extremely passionate about their hockey. Great to see.
As promised earlier this week, the early season previews have begun, and your Carolina Hurricanes team is the focus of today's 30-in-30 series at NHL.com.
'Canes can't afford bad start in '10-11 - NHL.com - 30 in 30 The 'Canes closed strongly in 2009-10, but they still finished well out of the playoffs after a horrendous start that they can't afford to repeat. They also educate the masses with A brief history of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Seems to me like the NHL.com editors "go with what they know" when it comes to the Hurricanes players in their feature, focusing on only the most obvious names. Makes me realize how much has been going on "under the radar" in Carolina since April. I think that will be the story of the 2010-11 season as a lot of new names step up into the limelight. Oh, and training camp begins in 41 days. But who's counting?
After the jump, more highlights of Canes past and present, news from the World Juniors camps, and miscellaneous hockey links for a steamy Saturday in August.
NHL.com has gathered several video highlights today to showcase the Hurricanes' 09-10 season. Head over here and watch one after another. Leads with Eric Staal's hattrick on hat night (shown below too) and the Pierre McGuire comment that the Canes coaches were "grinning like butcher's dogs" after Jamie McBain makes a perfect if unlikely feed through traffic to Staal for his second of the night.
If you're a betting fan, the Canes are now at 50/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup this season. See the odds for all thirty teams at NHL Futures Betting, 2010 Stanley Cup Odds at Bodog Sportsbook
And while we're thinking about highlights and history, here's your DVR reminder that Monday, August 16, the Hurricanes Game 7 win over the Edmonton Oilers for the 2006 Stanley Cup Championship will be shown on the NHL Network's "Raising the Cup" series at 8pm, followed at 10:30pm by their "Frozen in Time" episode reviewing the Hurricanes entire 2005-06 season with Rod Brind`Amour earning his place in Carolina history.
WJC U-20 Camp updates
From Team USA with Sweden and Finland at Lake Placid:
Yesterday, the USA looked flat in their second outing against the Swedes. The recap: Swedes avenge poor showing with 4-1 win over USA plus some choppy video highlights here. Right at the top, you'll see Brian Dumoulin make the feed to set up a USA non-goal. And Justin Faulk, who was clearly in charge on the USA power play first unit, also gets beat on the third Team Sweden PP goal in three minutes. Faulk is #2 in white. Team USA went 0-for-6 on their PP opportunities yesterday, after much better results in the first two games.
Today is the final game of the camp, with the US team facing Team Finland at 4pm. Here's the camp blog which has links to watch the game online (for $6.99). For the first time, all four of the Hurricanes defensive prospects will be playing. This is Faulk's fourth game and Dumoulin's third. Canes Finnish contingent include Tommi Kivisto and Rasmus RIssanen, both of whom have played for all of Team Finland's games, going 0-3 so far this week.
I found a story from the WHL's Everett Silvertips on their returning Defenseman Rasmus Rissanen from last month, from just before conditioning camp in Raleigh. Player Profile: Rasmus Rissanen Ready to Rumble. He seems to be making a good showing in Lake Placid, and perhaps here's why:
"Last year was a big year for me, and I learned a lot about playing hockey in North America, where there are some differences. I think American and Canadian players play a lot harder and more aggressive, and the rinks are a little different. In Europe we have lots of big rinks. So I learned a lot, and I think I developed a lot overall on the ice and got comfortable. I learned a more offensive game, and refined my defensive game."
Up in St John's, Newfoundland, the Canadians held the first of two "Red vs White" intra-squad games. Here are the video highlights including a nifty spinorama move from one Jeff Skinner, on Team Red. No goal, but he still impressed those in attendance. He had the second assist on Team Red's third goal, though Team Red lost 6-3. Tyler Seguin was a non-factor by all accounts. Here's the recap from TSN. They play again at 5:30pm and you can also stream the game here for a fee.
Let's talk about Goaltenders:
One thing about these summer duldrums is that hockey writers have a chance to explore topics that seem to be skimmed over during the regular season. This piece from the Avalanche SBN blog confirms our worst suspicions as it looks at the post-season effectiveness of so-called "Workhorse Goalies". Let us hope Paul Maurice has a chance to look at this: The Workhorse - Mile High Hockey The Workhorse. Is it good for a goalie to start more than 80% of his teams games?
A pair of former Hurricanes goalie in the news: Gerber's back, baby! - DobberHockey It says a lot that Edmonton would pass on a guy like Manny Legace for Martin Gerber. (After a year in Europe and a devastating neck injury during the season, Martin Gerber has signed a two-way contract with the Oilers.)
Nabokov talks about coming home to KHL and why league isn't a 'step back' - Puck Daddy From Dmitry Chesnokov on SKA St Petersburg's starting goalie, Evgeni Nabokov. And if you missed it, Maxim Afinogenov also signed a five-year deal with SKA yesterday. Are you keeping track of their roster for the Hurricanes' exhibition game there October 4th? No confirmation yet if that game will be televised.
Warning: Form-Fitting Rules May Cause Nausea – The Goalie Guild The guidelines and language for these new form-fitting rules may cause nausea, headaches...and possible vomiting. For those still wanting to trudge forward in spite of these side effects, arm yourself with a calculator, a notepad and a poncho and follow along as we trudge through the all-new process in which leg pads will most likely be measured.
Other NHL signing (or non-signing) news
First, among the over-35 set with a history of winning it all: John Madden (age 37) will join the Minnesota Wild (see ya in Helsinki in October); Teemu Selanne (age 40) will return for one more year with the Anaheim Ducks (so he'll be in Raleigh in December); and Mike Modano (age 40) has signed with the Red Wings. Detroit will play the Hurricanes in Raleigh April 6th. I'm sure the numerous members of the Canes' under-25 group will love to be able to tell their grandkids they played with these old pros. Or maybe in ten years Madden, Selanne and Modano will brag they played against young Brandon Sutter and Jamie McBain. I like that better.
It appears that
the end the next chapter of the Ilya Kovalchuk endless summer in waiting will begin Monday when the special arbiter reviewing the NHL's rejection of the 17-year megacontract between Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils announces his ruling after two days of hearings this week. Here's a preview of what's to come:
Could the Ilya Kovalchuk decision impact CBA negotiations? - From The Rink The Ilya Kovalchuk decision will come down either Friday or Monday. It will obviously impact the New Jersey Devils and the Atlantic Division, but what repercussions might it cast on future CBA negotiations?
The Kovalchuk decision: What happens after it's over - ProHockeyTalk A win for the league also sets the terms for the NHLPA's argument against the owners in 2012. I know labor talk is scary and generally pretty boring, but this is the future we've got to deal with and it's going to get ugly one way or another.
Speaking of arbitration, for those RFA's who are eligible, it's been an unusual summer. James Mirtle looks at the latest bargaining strategies with his story A new twist in NHL's arbitration plot - The Globe and Mail Go ahead, Mr. Arbitrator, give him all the money he wants, he's outta here
Have you seen the list of RFA's still waiting for contracts, including Staal brother #3? Marc Staal has not yet arrived at an agreement with New York Rangers. Restricted free agents still waiting on offers - NHL Free Agency 2010 It's been lost in the free-agent frenzy, but there are still plenty of well-known RFA's trying to hammer out contracts for the upcoming season.
Again, it's a strange summer. Glen Metropolit has signed a contract to spend a few years in the Swiss Leagues. I think you'll enjoy this story about the how's and why's of that decision. Montreal Gazette: Metropolit has no regrets:
"I'll be home every night. We're a short flight from Greece, a short drive to Austria. This'll be great for the kids. And I can kind of kick back a bit, enjoy life, not be so stressed out that I'll bring the game home. I'll be playing a lot and if I do, I'll produce."
But: Are there really whales in Plymouth, Michigan?
Beginning with Peter Karmanos Jr's induction into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame next month, I seem to be noticing a lot more news from one of his other hockey teams, the Plymouth Whalers.
The Plymouth Whalers' alumni game raising money for autism research starts at 4:30 pm today, with Justin Peters in goal and Chad LaRose on the opposite team. Check in with the Whalers' twitter feed or website for more on that.
This week, a Michigan sports blog had an in-depth feature on one of the Canes third round picks in the 2010 draft, Austin Levi. Step by Step: Whalers Young Vet Austin Levi Looks to Continue to Improve | MLive.com "The [Hurricanes] Development Camp was even more of an eye-opener than the NHL Draft," Levi explained. "It was stressed to work hard and take care of all of our responsibilities off the ice before you can even begin to think about your on-ice responsibilities. All the hard work they do in Carolina - and all the preparation they go through to be an NHL player - was definitely an eye-opener."
And if you are looking for a lasting image to remember Whaler's veteran Defenseman Michal Jordan (third round pick in 2008), who signed his first pro contract to play in Charlotte this coming season, check out his Mohawk for a Cause from last October (file under: what has been seen cannot be unseen):
For your viewing pleasure,
Finally, one more video to get you ready for the new season, and you guys can thank me later: the first rehearsal of the Charlotte Checkers "Checkmates," who were announced this week. Hate to go all hockeymom, but I just want to know: What's with the hair?