While this site is typically not a rumor site, this morning I can't help but discuss a comment which was left on my "Iron Man" post yesterday. If you haven't read it yet, the author basically says that Bret Hedican's hip is not good at all and he will announce his retirement next week. After this happens, the Canes will sign a popular young replacement, (David Tanabe?). Very interesting stuff! This actually makes some sense in more ways than one. Matt Karash speculated recently on Hockeybuzz.com that David Tanabe has been keeping himself available, waiting to see how Hedican's condition was at training camp. At first I didn't agree with this speculation because I thought that would be a stupid move on Tanabe's part. Why would he keep waiting? It seemed to me like Hedican was going to give it a shot one way or the other and Tanabe would have a pretty long wait and possibly end up without a job. But now after thinking about it more, if Hedican's condition was leaning more toward the negative than positive, it makes better sense for Tanabe to wait. David might have had fairly reasonable assurances that he would be signed by the Canes eventually since he has not signed with another club yet. Either that or he is just being stubborn and holding out for more money than most teams think he's worth. Either scenario is possible of course. On the other side of the fence, Casonblog reported information from Kukla's site that Hedican was seen skating with other NHLers in Minnesota yesterday. If this is true, than the retirement rumor makes no sense at all. Why would Bret be skating if he was going to announce his retirement within a week? I've sent out a couple of emails, but no one has either confirmed or denied the news. We'll just have to wait until next week to find out Caniacs! I usually tend to be pretty skeptical about this type of stuff though, (anonymous comments). As the title of the song of the day says, "Once Bitten Twice Shy".
There is lots more to talk about this morning! The Canes released their training camp roster and schedule yesterday. I have entered the entire training camp schedule on the CanesCountry Calendar for easy access. There will be 2 red and white scrimmages this year, on the 18th and 19th of September at 6PM. I really enjoyed those in the past. If you have never been, they scrimmage just like a real game with refs and with the scoreboard operating. It's very entertaining and of course the players are all fighting for roster spots so it can get intense. There are a total of 53 players invited! The Canes are responsible for stocking 100% of Albany's roster this year, which is different from the past few years when they have shared their minor league affiliate with either Calgary or Colorado. They will need to spend a little more time sorting that all out. One interesting thing is that they will have 6 goalies in camp. While Cam Ward and John Grahame have the first 2 spots locked up, the next 4 are pretty wide open. Of course Michael Leighton was brought in to be a heartbeat away from playing in Raleigh, but could he get bumped by someone else who is playing out of their mind in net? Of course he could be! The other goalies fighting for spots in Albany are Justin Peters, Daniel Manzato, and Kevin Nastiuk. Peters and Nastiuk both had slow starts last year but both came on stronger at the end of the year. Peters ended up helping Albany reach the playoffs and Nastiuk did the same for Las Vegas while he played on loan for them. Manzato is a Swiss goalie who has only played in Europe and the QMJHL so far in his career. Will he return to Europe if he doesn't make the River Rats? He might prefer to return home rather than accept an assignment to the ECHL Florida Everblades. The battle among the remaining 4 goalies should be an interesting one, no matter how it ends up! We'll review the rest of the 47 skaters later and discuss possible scenarios.
Speaking of goalies, there was a nice article in the News and Observer this morning about Cam Ward. He's been working out hard all summer and has lost 20 pounds! Hopefully that makes him a bit quicker in net this season for the Canes. Finally, Erik Cole also made the news this morning. It's been noted in the past that he has been supporting the Oswego Library by pledging $1,000 for every point he scores. Of course last year he scored 59 points. There is a nice article in the Palltimes about how he recently fulfilled his $59,000 donation to the library. Way to go Erik! Hopefully next year the donation amount will be 100K!
Ian Hunter or Great White