Believe it or not, since the last Hurricanes game April 4th till Full Training Camp starts at noon on September 17th, we've made it about two-thirds of the way through the summer! July has been chock full of interesting developments with all the activity going on on Edwards Mill Road. After all, it's the season when the Leagues's General Managers are making headlines.
First off - Canes Country has just learned that, thanks to the efforts of our readers and others supporting Katherine Fritsch's hope to sing the Anthem at an Atlanta Falcons game, her vote count soared today to 4th place before the online voting closed. That met the cutoff and the11-year old in pink cowboy boots will indeed be singing for a game by special appearance on Sunday, November 7th! Her family asked us to relay their appreciation. Congratulations KK!
When it comes to GM's, as we've noted for weeks, the Southeast Division has the most new faces at the table. According to NHL.com, four of the seven most compelling franchise honchos are Carolina's Southeast rivals. And considering the criteria, we can be glad the Hurricanes' Jim Rutherford is the only one in the Division who isn't listed. Seven GMs who figure to keep life interesting - 2010 Offseason News Although the regular season is still two months from starting, the seven GMs highlighted by NHL.com are intriguing figures.
After the jump, a video of the kids working out off-ice at prospects camp and a few various and sundry links that will help you pass the time and keep you in the right mood.
Looking forward to new faces
Cory Lavalette doing what he does best - offering up great insight on each of the new players that Jim Rutherford brought to the organization at the Draft: Hurricanes 2010 draft review - Hockey's Future After a horribly disappointing 2009-10 season, the Hurricanes had 11 selections in the weeks leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles.
Penguins' development camp by-product of salary cap - Canes Country will be exploring this topic closer to home soon, but this was an interesting perspective on why now, more than ever, NHL teams are investing all they can in Prospects Camps this summer.
Yes, sounds like they're gonna miss him: Cornell hockey prepares for life without Riley | The Ithaca Journal With Riley Nash's decision to leave college for Carolina, the Cornell coach puts his most optimistic spin on the news: "It presents a lot of opportunities for other guys that wouldn't be there," Schafer said. "With Riley coming back, he eats up a lot of minutes on the power play and penalty kill and different aspects of the game, and (he) played with our best offensive players. It moves everybody up the depth chart. It's a fresh start for a lot of guys."
For those of you who worry that Jeff Skinner may still be too small for the NHL, here's one writer's argument to refute that excuse: Puck Prospectus | Up and Coming: "Too Small for the NHL" is a Cop-Out Whenever I read some scouting report that says a player is "too small for the NHL", I can feel my blood pressure rising.
This story was tweeted and mentioned in the comments, but if you didn't catch it, take a look at one writer at The Hockey News who explains why the Canes will surprise some of those who are quick to dismiss the team now: The Boylen Point: Hurricanes timed to return to NHL playoffs The Hurricanes franchise has made a habit of inconsistency, which is why they can't be taken lightly in making predictions.
With the realignment of the AHL this summer, one blog put together this Google Map showing the geographic distribution of all thirty teams. The Charlotte Checkers look about as lonely as the Oiler's new affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons.Then I noticed the Abbotsford Heat. Eegads!
And please remember , if you haven't seen it already, to check with the Canes Country Survey from Monday. Here's the story telling you what we hope to put together for the Charlotte Checkers Home Opener on Friday October 15th.
Updates on a few Former Canes
USA Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Announced to include five more American-born individuals who've contributed to the sport. Art Berglund, Derian Hatcher, Kevin Hatcher, Dr. V. George Nagobads and Jeremy Roenick. Kevin Hatcher played for the Hurricanes back in 2000-01 season. Those of you who've read "Boys of Winter" will remember the name of Team USA's Olympic physician, Dr. Nagobads, who served in that capacity from 1968 to 1988. Any guesses on how many minutes into his speech Roenick will tear up?
CSN Philly's Sarah Baicker did this feature on Michael Leighton last week: Goalie Coach Reese Awaits Full Year With Leighton Flyers Goaltending coach Jeff Reese is looking forward to getting a full year to work with Michael Leighton -- and so is the goalie himself.
Guess who's moving to Nuremburg [Germany]? 194 NHL games: Ryan Bayda's coming! The Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers have taken a very experienced winger for the new DEL-season under contract. Ryan Bayda, with a resume of 194 NHL games for the Carolina Hurricanes, is coming to Nuremberg. [in German -you'll need a translator - or this link from Canada]
Phoenix Coyotes hope Ray Whitney provides late magic Coyotes hoping veteran winger Ray Whitney continues his trend of playing some of his best hockey late in his career.
Some interesting reads around the league
I loved Edmonton blogger Derek Zona's take on the statistical necessity of having Finns on the team if you expect to play past April: Finnish Minutes - The Key To The Oilers Playoff Success - The Copper & Blue The Oilers won't have a Finn on this year's roster. If not, they aren't making the playoffs. Also interesting (in an uncomfortable way) that Zona is setting his sights on Joni Pitkanen and Jussi Jokinen, both free agents next summer, as the solution to what ails Edmonton.
Well written piece on the legal technicalities of the Kovalchuk Quandary. Sports Law 101: The NHL CBA and Ilya Kovalchuk - The Phoenix Pub So, the NHL put the kibosh on Kovalchuk's unprecedented 17 year deal with the Devils, and it appears that the NHLPA is going to appeal.
Another PR casualty of Tuesday night's Twitter frenzy that accompanied the "Kovalchuk Rejection" was the untimely disappearance of the twitter account of the Coyote's Paul Bissonnette. Puck Daddy went so far to eulogize its demise this morning. Eulogy: Hilariously outrageous Twitter ramblings of Paul Bissonnette - Puck Daddy. The Hockey News' Adam Proteau had a less hilarious, but just as disappointed take.
Finally, one of our members, jb_online has brought a great cause to our attention. He has donated one of his prized game-used sticks, this one from #26 Erik Cole, to benefit Hilltop Home, a private, nonprofit residential center that serves children with severe developmental and medical disabilities. The auction begins this weekend, and closes July 31st. Please click over to get details on how you can support the cause here.