Greetings from Raleigh Center Ice
Back to school means back to work for your Carolina Hurricanes, and players are making their way into town after a too-long offseason. This year's return has been a slower trickle than normal since the World Cup pushed back the regular season schedule, and while a few notables have been in the area, the pace began to pick up yesterday as twelve players hit the ice to become reacquainted with their teammates.
Cam Ward, Jaccob Slavin and Trevor Carrick have been skating and working out in Raleigh for much of the summer. Last week they were joined by Ron Hainsey, Brock McGinn and Victor Rask at RCI, and Jordan Staal, Jay McClement, Elias Lindholm, Joakim Nordstrom and Justin Faulk were among the players who made their first appearance yesterday (Carrick was absent). Canes equipment manager Jorge Alves also helped out in net.
Newcomer Valentin Zykov, who joined the Checkers last season after being acquired in the Kris Versteeg trade, made his RCI debut yesterday. Zykov also participated in the Canes prospect development camp in July and is on the roster for the prospect tournament in Traverse City later this month.
But perhaps yesterday's most welcome sight was the arrival of Andrej Nestrasil, skating with his teammates for the first time since suffering a fractured vertebra on Feb. 25. The injury left him with an arduous recovery that has consumed his last six months. Nesty showed no signs of slowdown in yesterday's practice, which consisted of skating and shooting drills, a short rink three-on-three scrimmage, and a few sprints to wrap up a session that lasted a little over an hour.
Players will skate at RCI from 10:00–11:30 am most weekdays between now and the start of training camp.
A few newsworthy clicks from the start of informal practices:
- Nestrasil shares his perspective on his recovery and getting back to practice with the team [N&O]
- Sights and sounds from yesterday’s practice [CanesVision]
- Video interviews: Justin Faulk & Elias Lindholm
- Last week Michelle McMahon caught up with Cam Ward and Jaccob Slavin [CanesVision]
- Link to my photo gallery for 2016-17, photos forthcoming from RCI over the next few weeks [Smugmug]
World Cup of Hockey
World Cup of Hockey training camps are underway. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen will represent the Canes for Team Finland, and Bill Peters will be an assistant coach on Mike Babcock's staff with Team Canada.
Early Team Finland practices have Teravainen skating on a third line with Valtteri Filppula and Jori Lehtera, and Aho has been the extra forward. Hopefully as camp continues his role and ice time will increase, especially since he'll be missing a good chunk of Canes camp to participate in the tournament.
The two-week tournament begins with round-robin games on September 17. The top finishers from that play will advance to elimination games beginning on September 24 and finish with a best-of-three series for the finals on September 27 through Oct. 1. All games will be broadcast across the ESPN network of stations and streamed on the WatchESPN app.
NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City
For the seventh season, Hurricanes prospects will participate in the annual Traverse City tournament, which jump-started NHL careers for players like Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, and most recently Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Phil Di Giuseppe. Hosted by the Detroit Red Wings, eight teams will compete for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup, named in honor of the late founder of CapGeek who was instrumental in managing the tournament's statistics.
The Canes released their roster on Aug. 24, which features 2016 first-round draft picks Jake Bean and Julien Gauthier along with 2014 first-rounder Haydn Fleury. 16 of the 24 players on the tournament roster were drafted by Carolina. Charlotte Checkers head coach Ulf Samuelsson will serve as head coach.
The tournament will take place Sept. 16-20.
Other Upcoming Events
- The Canes will hold their annual Media Day at PNC Arena on Friday, Sept. 9.
- The fourth annual Canes 5k, benefitting the Kids 'N Community Foundation, will run the morning of Sunday, Sept. 18 at PNC Arena
- The annual Kids 'N Community Foundation Golf Tournament will be held Monday, Sept. 19 at Prestonwood Country Club.
- Neither the full schedule nor the roster for training camp has been released yet, but camp is scheduled to begin with off-ice activities on Sept. 22 and on-ice activities on Sept. 23.
- The Caniac Carnival will be held at PNC Arena on Sunday, Sept. 25, with a scrimmage to precede the first preseason game against the Capitals on Monday, Sept. 26.