We're down to just 63 days till the puck drops on opening night October 7th, when the Carolina Hurricanes host the Tampa Bay Lightning in a rematch of Game 82. If that's not soon enough for you to watch some honest-to-God Live Hockey, perhaps you wouldn't mind paying a fee to see some of the globe's best teenagers in a preview of the World Junior Championships to be held over the Christmas Holidays in Edmonton and Calgary. Starting tomorrow night, and running through next weekend, Canes prospects Ryan Murphy, Justin Faulk, Austin Levi, and Victor Rask will be among those competing at evaluation camps with the intention of making their National teams for the 2012 WJC.
Take a look at the Canes Country Calendar for the schedule of games you can watch online at FastHockey.com, for a fee of $8/game (or less if you buy more than one.)
In the meantime, here are some previews of the various camps, including rosters, schedules and feature stories. Plus some other summer adventures from around the puckworld.
And if 63 days still sounds like too long to wait to see hockey live, keep in mind that Camp Brind`Amour at the new and improved Raleigh Center Ice should be cranking up on August 22nd, only 17 days away.
World Juniors Camps
For a good overview you can look at NHL.com's one stop site for all their stories on any of the teams and top talent participating in the 2012 World Junior Championship . You can follow Mike Morreale on Twitter for rinkside commentary from Edmonton this week with Team Canada.
Also from Team Canada, who began work on Wednesday and will finish on Sunday, 2012 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP : The home page of the guys wearing the red maple leaf.
Ryan Murphy didn't make the cut as a 17 year old last year. Here's what he learned from that experience. Canada camp vets hope experience key to 2012 roster spot - NHL.com
"Last year I was a young player playing with 19-year-olds and it was a lot faster than I expected it to be," Murphy said. "I've taken a lot from that camp into this one. If you make a mistake out there, you have guys like Nugent-Hopkins bearing down on you and he'll bury it. So you can't make any mistakes."
At Lake Placid, NY, players vying to represent the USA, Sweden and Finland are all on hand. For Team USA, it's a large-scale evaluation camp and count the Hurricanes defensemen Justin Faulk and unsigned 2010 pick Austin Levi among the 44 invites. Carolina's Victor Rask will be one of the top forwards for the Swedish team.
Here's the home page for the USA Hockey 2011 Junior Evaluation Camp which summarizes the next week thusly:
Forty-four of the top American players under the age of 20 will be auditioning for a spot on the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp from Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The camp will include practices, intrasquad scrimmages and international games featuring Finland, Sweden and the United States.
Three top picks skipping Sweden junior camp - 2012 WJC With Gabriel Landeskog and defensemen Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom not participating this week, Victor Rask along with Mika Zibanejad will have a chance to shine big. Those 2 were among the standouts on the Swedish team that won SIlver at the U-18s losing the Gold Medal game to Team USA (with many of those same players here in Lake Placid as well) in Germany last April.
Previews of next season
have begun as media looks forward to October with as much longing as the fans.
Hurricanes hope roster tweaks help return to playoffs - NHL.com - 30 in 30 Jim Rutherford didn't drastically alter his roster after the Hurricanes missed out on the postseason, but the team could take that step forward. Plus the 60-second Video with EJ Hradek. His verdict? Carolina's a bubble team again this year. (s/t jbwhite99)
How 2010-11 East also-rans can right ship - 2011 Offseason News Seven teams in the Eastern Conference enter 2011-12 looking to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after absences of one or more seasons.
Also - grading the GM's in the Southeast Division on their efforts this summer: Red Light District: Off-Season Grades: Southeast Division GM Jim Rutherford did an outstanding job this off-season, and that’s not just looking at the additions above. Carolina was able to keep Joni Pitkanen and Jussi Jokinen below market value before hitting the market; those signings came after previous pessimism about their respective futures in Raleigh.
If summer for NHL players is about the training and preparation, one name is popping up with more frequency than ever. Gary Roberts's and the "School or Robs" is not only looking after Jeff Skinner this summer. Canes prospects Jared Staal and Chris Terry are subjecting themselves to his grueling and highly effective regimen. Here's a couple stories on how that's going.
Red Light District: The third incarnation of Gary Roberts The Gary Roberts High Performance Centre, outside of Toronto, has become a summer Mecca for the best hockey players on the planet who are willing to undertake the strenuous regimen in hopes of becoming more competitive than ever.
Feschuk: Roberts shares his secrets for hockey longevity - thestar.com The former Leafs forward, who played in the NHL to age 43, is now a highly sought-after strength and conditioning coach. Don't miss the photo of Skinner in action.
NHLers at the School of Robs | National Post It is a Civic Holiday. Most stores are closed and the city feels empty. Folks have either fled for the cottage or are out relaxing on a patio with a beer. But for 15 or so hockey players — almost all of them multi-millionaires — it is just another day of training to the point...
There's also more from the All-Canadians Mentorship Camp about which we posted over the weekend going on. Some videos have gone up with a couple of the camp counselors you'll recognize. From NHLPA.com: 2010-11 Calder Trophy winner, Jeff Skinner takes to the ice at the All-Canadians camp.
Here's one with the new guy, Tim Brent
Checking in with other Canes in the off season
Excellent video and good background to know: Off The Record Panel - August 4 Featuring Anthony Stewart and Kevin Weekes Michael Landsberg and the Panel discuss how to develop the next generation of black NHLers.
David Lee at Kukla's Korner, had some good observations after watching the OTR spot. Red and Black Hockey : Getting to know… Anthony Stewart
There isn’t much going on this summer, but Anthony Stewart, one of the newest Canes, is keeping us entertained. Between appearing on TSN’s "Off the Record" and his tweeting, I don’t know if he has time to do any training. He is, however, giving us Caniacs a good look at who he is off the ice. And in one of his recent appearances on OTR, he revealed a somewhat surprising outlook on race-based trash talking.
From Finland's YLE.fi news site, Tuomo Ruutu tells us what he's planning for 2011-12: Ice Hockey World Champion attacker Tuomo Ruutu is already preparing a rapid pace in October starting in the NHL season training (Google translate - so it's rough but readable. And s/t to Jamie Kellner.)
NHLPA.com | Special Year for Skinner "I just got a text (before the awards ceremony) from a bunch of the guys saying, "Good luck." Those guys have helped me so much, the adjustment I think they made it so much smoother for me and they've supported me the whole way and it's been a lot of fun having them there for me."
Dalpe hopes for permanent spot in NHL - Paris Star - Ontario, CA After getting a taste of life in the National Hockey League this past season, Paris native Zac Dalpe is working his tail off this summer to make sure he earns a permanent spot in Carolina with the Hurricanes for the 2011-12 season. The Paris Star did a story of Ben Dalpe, Zac's younger brother today, which included an image of the brothers working out in the "gravel pit" mentioned in the story above. Youngest Dalpe sibling signs with Lumber Kings
Even IceHogs use the summer to better their performance in the regular season. Seems Stormy did us proud: Sports Mascot Games: Professional and college sports mascots battle - OrlandoSentinel.com But the bug couldn't outmove the Carolina Hurricane's Stormy. The crowd roared in applause when Stormy, a hog wearing a hockey jersey, took to the gym floor to Justin Bieber's "Baby." He won the dance competition by doing the worm. Stormy's act is featured in this companion video: Mascot Games DanceContest July 28, 2011.
It's a whole new ballgame in Sports Media as you can see as the Hurricanes have put all 25 twitter accounts and other social media links for the players and the supporting cast all in one place. Maybe seeing this will be what finally wins over the unconverted to join the fun in the twitterverse. Social Media Central - Carolina Hurricanes.
Prospects and Alumni
With no further explanation, this came from Sweden earlier this week (s/t abramsdoug) for us to tuck into our caps and guide our expectations of this highly-skilled Swede making his own path to the NHL: Twitter / @steffeG:
Calgary Hitmen and Carolina Hurricanes draftee Victor Rask might play in the #WHL after all. His agent says it's up to the #Canes.
I'd like to go on record to say a hockey team can never have enough of a thing called "Quiet Nasty", Inside College Hockey | INCH A-Z: Mark Alt Minnesota assistant coach Grant Potulny on [rising sophomore defenseman] Mark Alt: "Mark has almost a quiet nastiness about him. You won't see him banging the drum in the room or yelling at guys on the bench, but there's a real competitive fire that comes out when he's on the ice."
Seidenberg's winding journey settles in Boston Family seems important to the 30-year old. As [Dennis Seidenberg] talks about his hockey journey, you don't get the impression he did it alone -- he started because of his father, persevered because of his mother and is often reminded of his brother. Now a father of two girls, he sees things in perspective of his children. His first, Story, became a sister to Noah Grace on October 6 while the Bruins were in Prague.
And another free spirit, Arturs Irbe Talks About Why He Left the Washington Capitals "Of course, there were a lot of positive things working for the Capitals, but if I would have stayed there as a goaltending coach, it would have become a routine sooner rather than later for me. Also, I had no career opportunities there. That is why I decided to leave the Caps."
Which of us have the most fun in the hot hot summertime?
who come in all persuasions, face challenging choices, and present some amazing levels of commitment to doing the right thing.
A look at some of the NHL's best teenage debuts - NHL.com It's tough for 18-year-olds to make an immediate impact in the NHL, but NHL.com looks at some who did. Bet you a nickel you already know the most recent addition to this list of teen phenoms.
Jeff Skinner was interviewed by a figure skating website, icenet.com, re-introducing him to his peers as a pre-teen success in the sport of toepicks and triple axels: Skinner rides figure skating past to NHL honors "I'm not the fastest guy out there. There are better skaters, but definitely figure skating helped me in hockey," he says. "Being on the ice that much as a young kid really was the biggest benefit for me. Being so comfortable on skates.
Given how often Tyler Seguin and Jeff Skinner's names are connected so frequently in hockey stories, those 2 seem to be very different people. Chronicles of Stanley: Tyler Seguin and the goblet of vodka - Puck Daddy
Finally, this is one to remember when you're watching all the talented teens in those camps that led today's story: Teen Hockey Star Saves Others With Final Gift - WDIV Detroit A tragic accident took Ian Jenkin's life, but it didn't end his desire to "have a purpose."