Caniacs have been asking for it and they finally got it. The local news actually reported something about the Hurricanes! Granted, it's nothing really new or exciting, but it is something. Some of the Canes have been practicing at voluntary ice sessions which started Monday at the RecZone. The team has the ice reserved from 10-12 each weekday until training camp officially starts on September 14th. You can check out the Canes schedule anytime on the CanesCountry Calendar, always listed on the left sidebar under "CanesCountry Links". The News and Observer ran a story about yesterday's practice in today's paper. The players listed who have shown up so far include Rod Brind'Amour, Cory Stillman, Chad LaRose, Frank Kaberle, Glen Wesley, Erik Cole, Cam Ward, and Craig Adams. It's nice to see Kaberle and Stillman hitting the ice early, considering their injury shortened seasons last year. Also franchise prospects Casey Borer and Pat Dwyer have been in attendence. Good work by those guys, especially Borer who should be giving everything he's got to fight with Noah Babin for that top defensive depth position which will most likely be needed at some point in the season. (Anyone seen Bret Hedican? Sorry, I had to ask!)
Other players have joined in for the sessions as well including Bates and Anthony Battaglia, and Aaron Ward. Of course Aaron is property of the Boston Bruins while Bates signed a two year deal this summer with the Maple Leafs. Who would have ever "thunk" 10 years ago when the Canes first moved here, that players from other teams would be living in the area and working out with the Hurricanes during the offseason? Some so called "experts" didn't even think the team would still be here in 10 years. Speaking of "10 years ago", this is the 10th anniversary of the team's existence in North Carolina and according to an email sent to season ticketholders yesterday, there will be festivities and give-aways galore! Of course CanesCountry has some extra things planned as well and we'll talk more about that later.
Finally, there was even more news yesterday! The local Fox Sports South network released their anticipated schedule of when they will televise the Canes this season. Unfortunately, they only picked up the minimum of 55 games that they are contractually obligated to schedule. If we add the 5 games picked up by Versus earlier, that's a total of 60 games that can be watched locally, but that still leaves about a quarter of the season unavailable to Caniacs who can't make it to all the games or don't have the Center Ice package. That kind of stinks in my opinion. There are reasons behind this and I will analyze and talk more about it in my posting here tomorrow. I'll also work on getting the schedule up on the CanesCountry Calendar which will include the information concerning which games will be televised and which ones won't be. For those of you who aren't able to get tickets to opening night, you will be out of luck because that's one of the games that won't be available for TV. Way to help build the fanbase! More about that tomorrow.