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Canes Country's Guide to the Hurricanes Training Camp: Group A

My count down clock says 30 minutes till Training Camp starts for the 2010-11 Carolina Hurricanes. Today they get their physicals, their pictures taken and do conditioning tests. Tomorrow, at 9:00 AM sharp, the first group of skaters, among them the newest faces of the franchise, takes the ice at the RBC Center. Raleigh, North Carolina: meet "Group A".

The Canes put out their list of invitees Thursday night following the final game in Traverse City, as the young Canes won the contest in double-overtime, on a goal by Jeff Skinner with the assist from Zac Dalpe. If you've been reading here the last month, you know those names very well. But if you're wondering about some of the other less-than-household names, or wondering what's new since last April, Canes Country is here to help. 

After the jump, take a look at the Canes Country Guide to Training Camp. And, just like we did for Prospects Camp, we've also set up a downloadable .pdf version of  Canes Country's Guide to Training Camp for you to print out and take with you as you head to the RBC tomorrow for the first On-Ice practice of the 2010-11 season. Last, don't forget our new feature this season, the Canes Country Calendar. It's always there in the left column of the front page, loaded with all the details and links on when, who, and where for all practices and games throughout the season.

Group A


A quick census of Group A:

Twenty-three  players: 13 Forwards, 8 Defensemen, 2 Goaltenders.

Age: This group is an average age of 22 years, 4 months. Jeff Skinner is the youngest at 18 years, 4 months; Zack Fitzgerald is the oldest, at 25 years, 3 months. Birthday trivia: Bobby Sanguinetti, like Cam Ward, is a "Leap Day" baby, born February 29, 1988 (four years after Ward).

Nationality: 15 were born in Canada, 5 in the US (all defensemen - coincidence?), and there are 3 European-born players.

Height: Brett Bellemore and Jared Staal are the tallest, listed at 6' 4". Three players show up at the "vertically challenged" end of the roster, standing 5'-10" tall: Jeff Skinner, Chris Terry and Nick Dodge.

Weight: According to the numbers available now, Jared Staal is heaviest at 210 lbs. and Goaltender Mike Murphy is the lightest at 165 lbs. Since they are weighing in today, after a summer of weight management and training, I suspect these numbers are subject to change.

Our downloadable .pdf version: With photos and few more familiar names, it's ready to print-and-go. Here's the link once more: Canes Country's Guide to 2010 Training Camp 


GROUP "A" (as of 9/17/10)


 NAME , HT/WT, DOB & Birthplace how acquired, 09/10 Team, Contract  Notes
 18   JON MATSUMOTO   Trade w/PHI  Acquired at the 2010 draft for a 5th round pick; AHL All-star in 2010; Leading scorer for the Flyers affil. Has never played an NHL game in 3 yrs as pro.
 6' 0", 184 lbs Adirondack (AHL)
 22   ZAC DALPE   07 - 2nd rnd  Leading scorer at OSU before joining Albany in March. Scored 8 points (6 G + 2 A) in his 9 games with the Rats. A standout at Traverse City tourney.
 6' 1", 195 lbs Ohio State/ Albany
 23   RILEY NASH   Trade w/EDM  A first round pick in 2007, acquired for 2nd round pick in LA. Played 3 years at Cornell. Centered 2nd line at Traverse City.
 6' 1", 191 lbs Cornell Univ
 32   OSKAR OSALA   Trade w/WAS  Acquired in Joe Corvo trade. Has only 3 NHL games, after 2 seasons w/Hershey and Albany.
 6' 4", 219 lbs Hershey/ Albany
 34   JARED STAAL   Trade w/PHX  Youngest of 4 Staal brothers, the 'Yotes 2nd rd pick in 08; Contributed a goal + couple assists in Traverse City
 6' 4", 210 lbs Sudbury / San Antonio
 45   MATT KENNEDY   09 - 5th rnd  Captained the Traverse City team w/5 point night vs CBJ; his 2nd trip to Trav City. Invited to 2010 OHL All-star Game.
 6' 2", 202 lbs Guelph/ Barrie (OHL)
 53   JEFF SKINNER 10 - 1st rnd  The Canes 1st pick in '10, among top goal scorers in OHL (20 G in 20 GM in playoffs). Clutch in Trav City. Will he sign a contract or return to Kitchener?
 5'10", 182 lbs Kitchener Rangers
 54   STEFAN CHAPUT   06 - 5th rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 0", 190 lbs Albany   Albany: 75 games, 10 G, 28 A, 38 P
 58   CHRIS TERRY   07 - 5th rnd  09-10 stat line:
 5' 10", 190 lbs Albany   Albany: 80 games, 17 G, 30 A, 47 P
 61   MIKE McKENZIE undrafted  A surprise invitee after a successful showing at Traverse City. Signed AHL/ECHL with Checkers in July. Follow him on twitter: @MikeMcKenzie11
 6' 0", 175 lbs St Lawrence Univ
 65   NICK DODGE   06 - 5th rnd  09-10 stat line:
 5' 10", 185 lbs Albany   Albany: 80 games, 16 G, 20 A, 36 P
 5/1/1986  Captain of Carlton Clarkson University Team
 71   JEROME SAMSON   UFA (2007)  09-10 stat line:
 6' 0", 195 lbs Albany/ Carolina   Albany: 74 games, 37 G, 41 A, 78 P
 9/4/1987   Carolina: 7 games, 0 G, 2 A, 2 P
 GREENFD PK, QC, CAN 2-Way  Among AHL's Leading scorers
 72   NICOLAS BLANCHARD   05 - 6th rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 3", 200 lbs Albany   Albany: 78 games, 14 G, 8 A, 22 P
 5/31/1987  and don't forget 171 PIM
 24   BOBBY SANGUINETTI Trade w/NYR  Acquired for a 6th rnd and '11 2nd rnd picks. A fast skater and great puck handler, is he ready for the NHL? Two-time AHL All Star, fastest skater at skills competition
 6' 3", 190 lbs Hartford Wolfpack
 47   MICHAL JORDAN 09 - 3rd rnd  Czech captain at 2010 World Juniors; Played in Traverse City in both 09 and 10.
 6' 1", 186 lbs Plymouth Whalers
 ZLIN, CZE 2-Way
 51   AUSTIN LEVI 10 - 3rd rnd  Young, skates well, has good size; "Stay at home" Dman; invited following good showing at Trav City. Teammate w/Jordan and Terry in Plymouth.
 6'3", 192 lbs Plymouth Whalers
 55   CASEY BORER 04 - 3rd rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 2", 205 lbs Albany/ Carolina  Albany: 30 games, 1 G, 8 A, 9 P
 7/28/1985  Played 2 games for Canes last season. Fought back bravely from knee, neck surgeries. Finally at 100%.
 62   RASMUS RISSANEN 09 - 5th rnd  Finnish player who has been playing in WHL in Everett Washington. Defensive Dman who was invited following Trav City.
 6'2", 202 lbs Everett Silvertips
 63   ZACK FITZGERALD UFA, 2009  09-10 stat line:
 6' 2", 205 lbs Albany   Albany: 77 games, 2 G,  12 A, 14 P
 6/16/1985  Led all AHL players in 09-10 with a whopping 311 Penalty minutes in his first season with Albany. 
 68   KYLE LAWSON 05 - 7th rnd  Was +/- leader for Canes at Trav City; went to NCAA Finals in 08, joined ALB for 10 games last March when college career complete.
 5' 11", 192 lbs Notre Dame / Albany
 73   BRETT BELLEMORE 07 - 6th rnd  09-10 stat line:
 6' 4", 205 lbs Albany   Albany: 75 games, 1 G, 6 A, 7 P
 31   JUSTIN POGGE Trade w/ANA  Injured at Albany in March shortly after trade from Anaheim (A Ward deal). Hoping for a fresh start after already playing for 3 clubs in career. U-20 Gold Medal in 06.
 6' 3", 204 lbs San Antonio / Albany
 70   MIKE MURPHY 08 - 6th rnd  09-10 stat line:
 5' 11", 165 lbs Albany   Albany: 20 games, 10-9-0
 1/15/1989  2.81 GAA, .924 SV%
 KINGSTON, ON, CAN 2-Way  Great work at Traverse City Tournament last 2 years.


Keep in mind, each player's group assignment is subject to change on a daily basis, and you can read into those coaching decisions as much significance as you want - that's the interesting part. At the beginning, it appears Group B is the NHL group, and Group A will either return to their Junior team or play in Charlotte. But, as we've been discussing for weeks, all bets are off on where it will all fall out in the next two weeks. I guarantee there will be moves involving the players named above, and it's gonna be some kind of fun to follow.

The Canes Country Calendar is new section we've set up this season to check on the schedule for games, practice and fan events, including relevant links. The first pre-season game is next Tuesday, September 21 at 7pm, when the Canes host the Florida Panthers. There are three more games in rapid-fire succession from there  (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) , with the cut off for assignment to AHL teams without any waivers required coming on Saturday, September 25.

Group A practices are as follows for the next week:

 Date Time  Place
 Sat, Sep 18, 2010 9:00am  RBC
 Sun, Sep 19, 2010 11:00am   RecZone  
 Mon, Sep 20, 2010 9:00am   RBC
 Tue, Sep 21, 2010 GAMEDAY   RBC
 Wed, Sep 22, 2010     11:00   RBC
 Thu, Sep 23, 2010 GAMEDAY   RBC
 Fri, Sep 24, 2010 GAMEDAY   RBC
 Sat, Sep 25, 2010 GAMEDAY   RBC
 Sun, Sep 26, 2010   Team Practice     RecZone       
 Mon, Sep 27, 2010 [golf tourney]


If you can't make it to Raleigh, you should be able to check it out on the RBC's webcam which updates still images every minute. 

Finally, I'll be posting the "Group B" roster and table later this afternoon. See you tomorrow!