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Clicks and Clippings: Rookie Night in Carolina

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Though there was some confusion this afternoon, Joni Pitkanen will return to the Carolina Hurricanes roster tonight. Brett Carson, will be reassigned to Charlotte. As Cory Lavalette confirmed in his preview, because Carson was called up on an emergency basis for Pitkanen's injury last Friday, Carson will not pass through the waivers process, but it was required he be returned immediately when Pitkanen was ready to go.

Also there seems to be some hefty tinkering with the All Star Game format which will be part of the announcements the NHL will be making in Raleigh this week. Here's a hint from TSN's Darren Dreger: NHL considering full-scale overhaul of All-Star game which has repercussions for all of us anticipating the game here in January. Not sure where this leaves the local fan campaigns for Jussi Jokinen and Chad LaRose.

While the concept hasn't been officially signed off on, sources say that the process of how players are selected may change for this year's event in North Carolina.Fan voting would still be utilized to determine the game's starters, while the NHL's Hockey Operations department would select the rest of the weekend's All-Star participants.


Game Previews

Hurricanes vs. Oilers - Tracking the Storm It’s the meeting of two of the top prospects in this past June’s NHL Entry Draft – Edmonton’s Taylor Hall (1st overall) and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner (7th overall).

Canes Now - Pitkanen returns to lineup "The challenge is we're playing an opponent we don't truly know," Canes coach Paul Maurice said [after the skate today.]

Oilers vs. Hurricanes - Edmonton Oilers Official Team site: Game Preview with links to comments from the coach and players following the Oilers pregame skate this morning.

Horcoff out for Oilers-Hurricanes match Updates from the Edmonton Journal on the line up for the visiting team tonight.

After the jump, a look at the talented rookies who'll take the ice at the RBC Center, a few former Oilers who now call Carolina home, and the usual links from Charlotte and around the NHL. Plus one more way that Edmonton wishes they could have hockey games like we have here in Carolina.

Know your rookies


Rookie Race from Kevin Allen, USA Today Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (something about the Flyers D it seems), Capitals Dman John CarlsonJeff Skinner, Caps' goalie Michal Neuvirth, and the Edmonton Oilers' Jordan Eberle. rated Skinner third among rookies today as well. (Also behind Bobrovsky and Carlson.) Eberle is rated sixth,  Magnus Paajarvi twelfth, and Hall shows up currently at #17.


Jeff Skinner

Lucky 7? So far, Skinner's fulfilling projections he'd outscore Hall - Buzzing The Net -Yahoo! Sports There is no confusion over which Ontario Hockey League wunderkind has a Calder Trophy bandwagon behind him heading into their first meeting as pros on Tuesday.

Canes Country's blogmeister Bob Wage had this "Meet Jeff Skinner" piece for the national reader up at The Fourth Period : Jeff Skinner, No Ordinary Rookie

The Hockey News: Fantasy Pool Look: The skinny on Jeff Skinner The Carolina rookie is shooting out the lights, but what can we realistically expect from him for this season and beyond?

Taylor Hall

From the print edition of this morning's N&O, here's a story explaining Edmonton Oiler Taylor Hall to the Raleigh area's NCAA-focused audience: Hall, Skinner meet again -  NewsObserver.comHe's younger than John Wall or Sam Bradford, and he certainly looks it.

Jordan Eberle

Vancouver Sun: Oilers' young gun flies under the radar Edmonton rookie scored his first goal in his first game, sits second in points. And no, it's not Taylor Hall  

Magnus Paajarvi is another young gun playing for the Oil tonight. When the 2010-11 season began, Paajarvi was considered  by TSN's Darren Dreger as the sixth most promising rookie this year. Hall was third, Eberle fourth, and Skinner just made the cut of his top ten. With another 65 or so games left, there is still plenty of time for all of them to earn some time in the spotlight. 

Of course, if we're comparing rookies in the NHL so far this season, this is still my favorite page to check in on.


Auld Lang Syne


Former Oilers on the Hurricanes roster include Joni Pitkanen, Erik Cole, Sergei Samsonov and Patrick O`Sullivan:

Joni Pitkanen's Undeserved Reputation In Edmonton - The Copper & Blue The words "Joni Pitkanen" are always said with a snarl in Edmonton, but it's completely undeserved. Here's why.

Cole, Samsonov Enjoying Early Success - Tracking the Storm Blog Aside from all the talk about new players, the Carolina Hurricanes had equally high hopes when it came to bounce back years for two of their veterans.

Cole enjoying resurgence - On a weekend when everyone turned back their clocks an hour, Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes appeared to turn it back a few years.

The Hurricanes Should Dress Patrick O'Sullivan Against The Oilers - The Copper & Blue Patrick O`Sullivan has had a rough go of it lately, but if there is one team that can get him going, it's the Edmonton OIlers.

And though Shawn Horcoff, the Oilers Captain is scratched with a LBI tonight, he still remembers the crowd the night Rod Brind`Amour raised the Cup: Edmonton Journal: Bad memories stirred up at RBC Center


High priority topics from the League 

as the General Managers gather for their fall meeting in Toronto today.

GMs: Evidence suggests Rule 48 is limiting head hits -  The League's new rule designed to punish illegal checks to the head from a lateral or blind-side position is working, according to reports from the NHL General Managers' Meeting here.

Radical changes for NHL All-Star Game, social media talk from GMs - Yahoo! Sports More news from the GM meeting as they discuss options for a better overtime format, social media guidelines for players, as well as what to do about pre-game chirping. Lots going on up there. (But we can forget the coach's challenge for goalie interference.)


Updates from Charlotte


The Charlotte Checkers have a re-match at home with the Hershey Bears (the Washington Capital's farm team) tonight at 7pm, after holding on for the first regulation home win Sunday. No word yet if Mike Murphy will play again after an impressive 41 saves Sunday or if Justin Pogge will be part of the back-and-forth rotation. After stumbling out of the gate in October, the Checkers have not lost in regulation in the last 7 games, earning 10 points out of a possible 14. Here's the preview for tonight's game. | Rookies off to quick starts devotes some pixels to the resurgent Checkers after they look at AHL rookies. This sentence jumped off the page:

The Checkers’ power play is 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) in its last five contests after going just 8-for-54 (14.8 percent) in 10 games to begin the year. 

Also from | Long-distance friendships You may remember this hockey-loving family up in Albany from River Rats stories I posted last spring. Wonderful to hear how the connections continue, despite the move to North Carolina.

An Albany River Rat fan for over three years, Bennett forged a bond with several players, starting with simple pre- and post-game conversations. Now that the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliation is the Checkers, the long-distance friendships continue. The Devils may now call Albany home, but Bennett's "teammates" are in Charlotte. 


Checkers forward Chris Terry with this one-handed Goal, Nov. 7 Charlotte vs. Hershey. Alrighty then. 


Brind'Amour Checks on the Checkers | FOX Charlotte  Former Carolina Hurricane Rod Brind'Amour is taking on a new role after a lengthy NHL career.


Excellent news from 2010-11 attendance shows that so far the Checkers comfortably in the top 20% for attendance per game among the thirty AHL teams. 


Following the money from the media


Game On: ESPN to Bid For NHL Rights, Potentially as Soon as January " Puck The Media Thing is, he’s not a nostalgic guy. "Bettman’s not going to get all dewy-eyed about his relationship with Versus," said one network boss. "He’s all business, he’s back in the driver’s seat and he’s going to get the deal that’s best for the NHL.

And some good thinking on what this means: NHL broadcast rights in a perfect world - From The Rink With ESPN and Versus both interested in the NHL's TV rights, is there a way to get the best of both worlds? A look at the ideal situation to benefit the NHL.

KuklasKorner : The Growth Continues Fueled by an unprecedented number of digital product introductions spanning broadband, mobile and social media, the NHL’s digital strategy continued to deliver new milestones of fan engagement in October, the National Hockey League announced today. 



Looking to the future

Near term

Are you familiar with Movember? As part of the international effort to raise awareness for men's health issues, numerous NHL players are letting the whiskers on their upper lips grow for the month of November (Moustache + November = Movember). For the Hurricanes, Justin Peters and Brandon Sutter are participating. We've been promised real pictures tomorrow. No offense boys, but I was kinda hoping for Cole and the full-on Chiastache. In the meantime, here's the link where you can donate for Peters or Sutter's efforts. Anyone out there in the Canes Country readership taking part?

Long term

I really enjoyed this look at another successful player in the system: Mississauga Article: Shugg's on a hot streak The Hurricane's 4th round draft pick his year, Justin Shugg has to be one of the most down-to-earth teenagers you could meet.


When Edmonton hockey wishes it could be more like Carolina hockey

Finally, you may have heard of the controversy in Edmonton when the Oilers organization announced they were auditioning healthy young women to become the new "Oilers Cheer Team", a first among Canadian hockey clubs. Our very own Carolina Storm Squad, as a more collegiate than "NFL-style" [Author's Note: I considered many options on what the best adjective was to use before settling on NFL-Style.] cheer team, has been mentioned as an appropriate model. Makes me wonder how much screen time the Storm Squad will be getting when Edmonton television covers the game for their audience back home in Alberta tonight (which is all you'll see on TV too, and then only if you have Center Ice - no FSCarolinas )

Oilers Cheer Team Video: An inside look at the Edmonton Oilers Cheer Team and what they'll be about.