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Hurricanes Headlines: Getting Closer

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Reports: Semin training, Jordan Staal top Canes forward?

Jordan Staal scores for Carolina
Jordan Staal scores for Carolina
Grant Halverson

It's getting closer to hockey season and several Carolina Hurricanes have been spotted skating and training at the Raleigh Center Ice recently.

According to reports by @NHLCanes and @Ice_chip, Tim Gleason, Cam Ward, Ryan Murphy, Patrick Dwyer, Brad Malone, Jay Harrison, Zach Boychuk, and others have been on the ice.  The informal skating sessions are usually open to the public and can be interesting to follow at times, especially when more players show up and they start scrimmaging.

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In other news, last week the Hurricanes team site gave an update regarding Alexander Semin and the status of his wrist.  According to Ron Francis, the winger was coming back a bit early to North America for training, including therapy for his wrist.   But as far as Francis was told, "there were no issues with the wrist".

Therapy or not, as of now the team is expecting him to be 100% for training camp.

Chesnokov's tweet from a few days earlier stated that Semin's wrist was "not fully recovered".  This could be interpreted many ways, so we will see what happens.

Speaking of "Sasha", TSN analyst and former Cane, Jeff O'Neill, could not resist a chance to take a shot at the Russian sniper.

In an interview with ESPN, O'Neill called Semin's contract "disgusting" and the "worst mistake Rutherford ever made."

"If he had any work ethic or intangibles, he'd be better than Ovechkin," O'Neill went on.

Semin must be very, very good indeed, to make it as far as he has with no work ethic.  This is interesting feedback coming from a player who was not always known in Carolina for his consistent work ethic and ideal weight, later in his career.

Will this be Rutherford's worst signing ever?  There is a lot of competition in that arena, perhaps we will find out someday.

O'Neill had more to say about the team.  If you have not seen it, check out the article here.

(stick tap to Flyingv2112 for the link)

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Recently, I stumbled across a fairly new site named "Capper Hockey" which seems to be focused on stats.  In case you do not follow Twitter closely, advanced stats are a hot topic right now and some teams are hiring stat experts to beef up their inside analytics staff.

This site ran a study tracking scoring chances for, and against, and used data matching players who were on the ice for each chance to do a comparison for all forwards on the team in even strength scenarios.

In my opinion, most times you have to be careful putting too much faith in stats.  Many of the old-timers will tell you that sometimes the stats don't pass the "eye test".

Now, scoring chances are not an official stat to begin with, (I'm not sure where this site gets their scoring chance info), results can vary from source to source and can be somewhat subjective at times.

But the results of this report seem to match the "eye test" more than not.

According to their results, Alex Semin was the top offensive forward and Radek Dvorak was the best on defense.  The only reason I can see Dvorak as the best on defense is that he was on the ice so little, he didn't have the opportunity to allow many scoring chances against.  Time on ice might not be considered.

Their study also showed that Jordan Staal was the top even strength forward in combined stats.  That means that his combined stat of, scoring chances for and scoring chances against, was best on the team.  Semin came in second.

What was also interesting?   Eric Staal was the worst performing even strength forward, in both studies.

Once again, you must take these stat reports with a grain of salt because they do not show the entire story, but they are interesting to look at.