The Carolina Hurricanes kicked off their annual summer conditioning camp on Tuesday, June 26. The camp gives Hurricanes staff an opportunity to meet and evaluate new prospects. It also offers the prospects NHL level conditioning programs along with tips for diet, media relations, motivation and other programs to orient them to life in professional hockey. The camp includes four on-ice skate practices at Raleigh Center Ice that are open to the public, the first of which was held Wednesday afternoon (continuing Thursday through Saturday from 4:30 - 5:30 pm). I was fortunate to attend and have a few notes and shots of the on-ice action. Also, the head coach stops by and weighs in on the latest trade acquisition.
2012 Conditioning Camp Roster (click here for print version)
- Jeremy Welsh attended as the lone free agent acquisition. Welsh was acquired at the end of the 2011-12 season, and may be the first member of the Hurricanes roster to actually play in an NHL game prior to attending conditioning camp.
- Prospects invited from the 2012 NHL entry draft included forwards Phil Di Guiseppe, Erik Karlsson, Brock McGinn, and Brendan Collier, defensemen Trevor Carrick and Jaccob Slavin, and goalies Daniel Altshuller and Collin Olson. Draftee Brendan Woods was unable to attend camp as he is recovering from surgery to resolve an injury and has not resumed skating. Also, McGinn was at RCI but did not skate in practice, he was dealing with a wrist issue (per Michael Smith on twitter).
- The Canes also extended camp invitations to four prospects not in the system - defenseman Trevor Cheek, forwards Tommy and Eddie Olczyk, and goalie Andy Iles.
- Michael Francis also skated with the practice group today.
The on-ice sessions were run by Assistant Coach Rod Brind'Amour, new Director of Forwards Development Cory Stillman, returning Goaltender Coach Greg Stefan, Director of Defensemen Development Glen Wesley, and Charlotte Checkers Head Coach Jeff Daniels.
Present at RCI but off the ice were Assistant General Manager Jason Karmanos, Director of Hockey Operations Ron Francis, Amateur Scout Robert Kron, and Head Coach Kirk Muller.
After practice, Kirk Muller, Cory Stillman, and Jeremy Welsh spoke to the media in attendance. Muller commented on Welsh's performance at camp, and also weighed in with his initial reactions to the Jordan Staal trade (and speculated where he may be placed in the line-up).
- From WRAL Sports Fan - Muller: 'Canes to try both Staals on ice together (includes Kirk Muller video)
- From WRAL Sports Fan - Canes rookie eyes opportunity for immediate impact (includes Jeremy Welsh and Cory Stillman video)
- From CH.com - Audio versions from Muller, Stillman, and Welsh
- Chip Alexander/News & Observer - Canes' Muller: We want to give Staals chance on same line
And from the twitter:
Chip Alexander @ice_chip: Welsh's one game, contract oddity led to cap hit of $17.9 million. He aid he was in a financial analysis class at Union when told. Fitting.
Welsh said a buddy in class called up capgeek.com "We started laughing. Just a statistical anomaly. It was pretty funny to see."
Collin Olson @C_Olson29 In North Carolina for 5 minutes and I'm already sweating. It's going to be a #2shirtday
"@haofwill: @C_Olson29 favorite thing about NC so far?" Tough question. What isn't there to like?
Erik Karlsson @erikkarlsson28 Today had my first ice practis with Carolina amazing !
Daniel Altshuller @D_Altshuller Full day today at @nhl_canes conditioning camp #bagger resting up for tomorrow #icebath
And finally, a few photos from Wednesday's practice. Here's a link to the full album: 2012 Hurricanes Conditioning Camp
Waiting to take the ice - Trevor Carrick, Phil Di Guiseppe, Jaccob Slavin and Brendan Collier
Reunited - Assistant Coach Rod Brind'Amour and Director of Forwards Development Cory Stillman
Jeremy Welsh - big, mobile forward (with 4-5 years on most of the other prospects). Muller says he already looks stronger this off-season. Will he make the 2012-13 roster as third line center?
Phil Di Guiseppe - Highest Canes pick in the 2012 entry draft. He skated a few drills on a line with Welsh.
Erik Karlsson - Michael Smith tweeted that Erik Karlsson's on-ice style reminds him of Zac Dalpe, and I agree. Karlsson has signed with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League and will play next season in Europe.
Greg Stefan returns as Goaltender Coach and teaches prospects Daniel Altshuller, Collin Olson, and Andy Iles a few new moves.