Paul Maurice and Ron Francis at Hurricanes Practice. They'll have a lot to talk about the next 2 weeks. Photo by LTD.
Earlier today I posted the Canes Country Guide to Group A, featuring the youngest and newest of the Hurricanes 2010 Training Camp. Here are the rest of the players who will be competing for a spot in the NHL lockerroom over the season.
Position Battles to watch
With only two forwards locked in their depth-chart positions, out of a minimum of twelve, this is going to be one competitive camp. Eric Staal will be the first line centerman. Brandon Sutter will center the second line. After that - watch and we'll find out. The most critical choices for the Hurricanes' coaches is who will flank these two at their wings and complete the Top-six. Who will give the most return, not only as a top producer individually, but also the best match of skills and style of these #1 and #2 guys?
If I had to identify the position which will become the most intriguing battle over the next two weeks, I'd go with third line center. Among those those now practicing as Group B, the leading candidates are Jussi Jokinen and Patrick Dwyer, with a mention to Tuomo Ruutu. But it's been well known for weeks that the front-runners to pivot the third line would be found among the young guns practicing as "Group A". Zac Dalpe and Riley Nash have been the lead candidates in conversations all summer. And Jon Matsumoto can't be ignored. Last, consider this, when Coach Jeff Daniels looked to switch up the lines in Traverse City earlier this week, it wasn't Dalpe centering the top line, rather Jeff Skinner.
Does the 18-year old have what it takes to play aggressively at both ends of the ice? The Kitchener Record had this story talking to both Rod Brind`Amour, a former Selke winner who might have a few thoughts on the matter, and Skinner on Monday. The [Kitchener] Record.com: Brind’Amour guides Skinner through pro camp "Everything he’s going through, I’ve been there," said Brind’Amour, the just-retired NHL centre and new director of forwards development for Carolina. "I was that shy kid once. I think I can relate to him really well."
After the jump, a few more links previewing Camp, then a look at the facts and figures of those who are (at the moment) part of "Group B". Here again, I'll link you to the downloadable .pdf version of Canes Country's Guide to Training Camp for you to print out and take with you as you head to the RBC tomorrow or for the next week.
**UPDATE: For more of my projections on who to watch at this year's camp, you can check out the Canes section here: Training Camp Battles: Southeast Division - ProHockeyTalk - NBC Sports The pressure's on Coaches Paul Maurice and Ron Francis to find the right mix of wings to complete the top six and optimize the talents of Staal and Sutter. And then finish the job by assembling the bottom six from scratch.
Young Hurricanes have plenty to prove - NewsObserver.com In the Carolina Hurricanes' locker room at the RecZone, the two facing end lockers closest to the doors once were occupied by forwards Rod Brind'Amour and Ray Whitney, befitting their status as veterans and team leaders.
Training Camp: What to Watch For - Carolina Hurricanes -Tracking the Storm: With the on-ice portion of training camp set to start this Saturday, here’s a list of things to keep an eye on as camp progresses.
Group A up close, from this morning. Canes Country's Guide to the Hurricanes Training Camp: Group A - Canes Country There will be a lot of new names and faces this year. Canes Country has a full guide to Camp including a downloadable .pdf to print out to take with you.
Puck Drops - Canes sign NC native Patrick O'Sullivan to one-year deal Brian LeBlanc writes on the what the announcement of O'Sullivan's contract means to both the new Canes player and those already here.
Finally, this is only a teaser of a more in-depth interview forthcoming, but Hockeybuzz's prospects blogger, Julie Robenhymer sat down with recently-signed NCAA centers Zac Dalpe and Riley Nash Monday and posted a very funny out-take video here. HockeyBuzz.com - Julie Robenhymer - Traverse City Prospect Tournament Notes
A quick census of Group B:
(not including last minute addition of Patrick O'Sullivan, since his group placement was not available at this time)
** UPDATE: O'Sullivan will be wearing Jersey #8 and skate with Group B today.
Twenty-two players: 12 Forwards, 8 Defensemen, 2 Goaltenders. (**With O'Sullivan, it's now 23 players, 13 forwards.)
Age: This group is an average age of 26 years, 7 months. Zach Boychuk is the youngest at 20 years, 11 months; Joe Corvo is the oldest, at 33 years, 3 months. (Group A averaged 22 years, 4 months with none older than 25 years of age.)
Nationality: 9 were born in Canada, 7 in the US and there are 6 European-born players. I counted Brandon Sutter as US born, though he spent much of his life in Canada, and played for Team Canada's World Junior teams.
Weight: According to the numbers available now, Tim Gleason is heaviest at 217 lbs. and Patrick Dwyer is the lightest at 175 lbs. Repeating what I wrote this morning, since they are weighing in today, after a summer of weight management and training, I suspect these numbers are subject to change.
Our downloadable .pdf version: With photos and few more familiar names, it's ready to print-and-go. Here's the link once more: Canes Country's Guide to 2010 Training Camp
GROUP "B" (as of 9/17/10)
|#||NAME , HT/WT, DOB & Birthplace||how acquired, 09/10 Team, Contract||Notes|
|11||ZACH BOYCHUK||08 - 1st rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|5' 10", 185 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Albany: 52 games, 15 G, 21 A, 36 P|
|10/4/1989||Carolina: 31 games, 3 G, 1 A, +1|
|AIRDRIE, AB, CAN||2-Way|
|12||ERIC STAAL "C"||03 - 1st rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 4", 205 lbs||Carolina||70 games, 29 G, 41 A, 70 P|
|10/29/1984||Lock for first line Center, named Captain Jan 21, 2010|
|THUNDER BAY, ON, CAN||1-way|
|14||SERGEI SAMSONOV||Trade w/CHI||09-10 stat line:|
|5' 8", 188 lbs||Carolina||72 games, 14 G, 15 A, 29 P|
|10/27/1978||Calder trophy - '98, in contract year. Oldest among forwards.|
|15||TUOMO RUUTU||Trade w/CHI||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 0", 205 lbs||Carolina||54 games, 14 G, 21 A, 35 P|
|2/16/1983||Won bronze w/ Team Finland. Had shoulder surgery in March.|
|16||BRANDON SUTTER||07- 1st rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 3", 183 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||72 games, 21 G, 19 A, 40 P|
|2/14/1989||Lock for 2nd line Center, breakout year last season, + only 2 PIM|
|HUNTINGTON, NY, USA||2-Way|
|19||JIRI TLUSTY||Trade w/TOR||A first round pick in 2006, acquired in trade for Paradis. Tlusty re-habbing after knee injury during the Calder Cup playoffs / (ACL surgery)|
|6' 0", 209 lbs||Albany/ Carolina|
|21||DRAYSON BOWMAN||07 - 3rd rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 1", 190 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Albany: 56 games, 17 G, 15 A, 32 P|
|3/8/1989||Carolina: 9 games, 2 G, 0 A, 2 P|
|GRAND RAPIDS, MI, USA||2-Way|
|26||ERIK COLE||98 - 3rd rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 2", 205 lbs||Carolina||40 games, 11 G, 5 A,16 P|
|11/6/1978||An injury-filled 09-10 season, ready for stronger contract year|
|OSWEGO, NY, USA||1-way|
|29||TOM KOSTOPOULOS||UFA, 2009||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 0", 200 lbs||Carolina||82 games, 8 G, 13 A, 21 P|
|1/24/1979||Only Cane to play 82 games, and finished with top +/-. Top PIM too.|
|MISSISSAUGA, ON, CAN||1-way|
|36||JUSSI JOKINEN||Trade w/TBL||09-10 stat line:|
|5' 11", 198 lbs||Carolina||81 games, 30 G, 35 A, 65 P|
|4/1/1983||After a career best season, may be a C or LW this season|
|39||PATRICK DWYER||UFA 2006||09-10 stat line:|
|5' 11", 175 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Albany: 23 games, 11 G, 8 A, 19 P|
|6/22/1983||Carolina: 58 games, 7 G, 5 A, 12 P|
|SPOKANE, WA, USA||2-Way||Expecting 2nd child in late Sept.|
|59||CHAD LAROSE||UFA - 2003||09-10 stat line:|
|5' 10", 181 lbs||Carolina||56 games, 11 G, 17 A, 28 P|
|3/27/1982||Undrafted, yet regarded a leader. Brind`Amour training protégé.|
|FRASER, MI, USA||1-way|
|4||JAMIE McBAIN||06 - 2nd rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6'-2", 200 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Albany: 70 games, 29 G, 41 A, 70 P|
|2/25/1988||Carolina: 14 games, 3 G, 7 A, 10 P|
|EDINA, MN, USA||2-Way||High expections, now in jersey #4|
|6||TIM GLEASON||Trade w/LAK||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 0", 217 lbs||Carolina||61 games, 5 G, 14 A, 29 P|
|1/29/1983||Won silver w/Team USA, missed end of season: broken foot.|
|CLAWSON, MI, USA||1-way|
|25||JONI PITKANEN||Trade w/EDM||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 3", 210 lbs||Carolina||71 games, 6 G, 40 A, 46 P|
|9/19/1983||Led NHL for TOI/game 09-10. Won bronze w/Team FIN. Contract year.|
|27||BRETT CARSON||04, 4th rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 4", 210 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Albany: 14 games, 3 G, 8 A, 11 P|
|11/29/1985||Carolina: 54 games, 2 G, 10 A, 12 P|
|REGINA, SK, CAN||2-Way|
|28||BRYAN RODNEY||UFA - 2008||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 0", 195 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Albany: 54 games, 7 G, ? A, ? P|
|4/22/1984||Carolina: 22 games, 1 G, 10 A, 11 P|
|LONDON, ON, CAN||2-Way||Named as AHL All-Star 2010|
|33||ANTON BABCHUK||Trade 2/CHI||After a season in the KHL, Babchuk returns to NC with his booming slapshot and his wife and infant son, Anton Jr, born July 1.|
|6' 5", 212 lbs||Avantgard Omsk (KHL)|
|44||JAY HARRISON||UFA, 2009||09-10 stat line:|
|6'-4", 211 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Albany: 32 games, 2 G, 12 A, 14 P|
|11/3/1982||Carolina: 38 games, 1 G, 5 A, 6 P|
|OSHAWA, ON, CAN||1-way|
|77||JOE CORVO||UFA, 7/2010||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 0", 204 lbs||Carolina/ Washington||Carolina: 34 games, 4 G, 8 A, 12 P|
|6/20/1977||Capitals: 18 games, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P|
|OAK PARK, IL, USA||1-way||At 33, oldest man on the team.|
|30||CAM WARD||08 - 1st rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 1", 185 lbs||Carolina||47 games, 18-23-5|
|2/29/1984||2.69 GAA, .916 SV%|
|SASKATOON, SK, CAN||2-Way||#1 Question: How does his back look?|
|60||JUSTIN PETERS||04 - 2nd rnd||09-10 stat line:|
|6' 1", 205 lbs||Albany/ Carolina||Carolina: 9 games, 6-3-0|
|8/30/1986||2.81 GAA, .924 SV%|
|BLYTH, ON, CAN||2-Way||Named as AHL All-Star 2010|
The new Canes Country Calendar linked on the front page is kept up to date with practice information and games as well. The Schedule for Group B Practices during the upcoming week is as follows:
|Sat, Sep 18, 2010||11:30||RBC|
|Sun, Sep 19, 2010||9:00am||RecZone|
|Mon, Sep 20, 2010||11:00am||RBC|
|Tue, Sep 21, 2010||GAMEDAY||RBC|
|Wed, Sep 22, 2010||9:00am||RBC|
|Thu, Sep 23, 2010||GAMEDAY||RBC|
|Fri, Sep 24, 2010||GAMEDAY||RBC|
|Sat, Sep 25, 2010||GAMEDAY||RBC|
|Sun, Sep 26, 2010||Team Practice||RecZone|
Management has made it clear that the group assignments for the players may (and in all likelihood will) change daily for some players, so keep an eye out for updates on twitter or in the comments.