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The stage is set as the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens are ready to square off in the season opener for both teams tonight. Word is out that there will be a special video presentation at 6:45, so get there early! The Canes will be celebrating their 10th anniversary with a variety of different events this season, and this will start things off. Be sure to get your magnet schedule and special "decoder" at the entrance. The decoder will help to win the free house that they are giving away later in the season. Yes, a free house!

As we discussed earlier, the game will not be broadcast on television locally due to Versus license restrictions, but people with cable can watch on the free NHL Center Ice Preview on channel 732, (Time Warner Cable). Of course the various satellite companies offer free Center Ice as well. The game will also be broadcast on 99.9 FM here in the triangle. If you are out of town, the other stations listed on the "Hurricanes Radio Network" are: Pirate Radio 1250 AM and 930 AM in Greenville, 990 AM in Southern Pines, and 1490 AM in New Bern. That doesn't seem like much of a network, but there is always the internet feed if you don't have access to any of those stations.

John Grahame's leg injury has improved and he will be on the bench tonight, ready to play if needed. The lines are listed as follows: Staal, Stillman, Cole, Brind'Amour, Whitney, Williams, Cullen, Walker, Ladd, and Hamilton, Adams, and Bayda, (or LaRose). The defensive pairings are Commodore-Hedican, Wesley-Kaberle, and Gleason-Wallin. Of course Cam Ward will be in the net. Hopefully, the Canes will come out as fired up as the fans will be!

Thumbs up to the News and Observer for their great, in-depth coverage in today's paper. Thumbs down about the mistake on one of the photo captions, declaring that Martin Gelinas scored the series clinching goal over "Montreal" that put the Canes in the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. People should proofread these things!

The Canes were 4-1-1 during the pre-season. Of course those games don't count in the standings, but I think that they are important for a team's confidence. We will see if they can carry forward their pre-season success to the regular season, very shortly. Have fun Caniacs, and Go Canes!

ELO