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Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes: Rosters, Notes, How to Watch, Game Discussion; Cole Retires, Joins Canes as Team Ambassador

The Canes are back home looking to stay unbeaten in preseason play as they host last night’s opponents.

Jamie Kellner

The Hurricanes are back home, and it will be a mix of old and new tonight at PNC Arena. As expected, Jordan Staal, Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin will make their first appearances of the preseason tonight, and Cam Ward will man the net for at least the first half of the game. Bill Peters did address Scott Darling’s injury this morning, saying it isn’t serious and he is expected to play Saturday.

But there is also plenty of new blood in the lineup tonight, including your first chance to watch 2017 first-round pick Martin Necas in a competitive matchup.

And speaking of watching, the game tonight will be streamed live on for viewing in the Canes’ home broadcasting territory (mostly NC and SC). Sorry, Lightning, no dice.

Here’s the Hurricanes lineup:

Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Andrew Miller

Phil Di Giuseppe - Martin Necas - Patrick Brown

Gregory Hofmann - Lucas Wallmark - Spencer Smallman

Noah Hanifin - Brett Pesce

Haydn Fleury - Jaccob Slavin

Jake Bean - Dennis Robertson

Cam Ward

Jeremy Smith

Meanwhile, the Lightning practiced this morning in Tampa before flying to Raleigh this afternoon. The big news is that defensive prospect Mikhail Sergachev will play tonight. It’s the first game action for the defenseman blue-chip prospect acquired from the Canadiens in the Jonathan Drouin deal over the summer. The projected lines are all over the place, so in lieu of actually writing the lines out with no guarantee they’re correct, here is their game roster:

Prior to the game, Erik Cole signed a one-day contract to announce his retirement from hockey as a member of the Hurricanes. Cole played for the Canes from 2001 to 2008 when he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Joni Pitkanen. After less than a season in Alberta, Cole returned to the Canes as part of the trade that sent Justin Williams to the Kings.

Cole left the Hurricanes for good in 2011, signing a free-agent contract with the Montreal Canadiens. He later played for the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings before leaving the NHL following the 2014-15 season.

Cole will serve in a team ambassador role within the Canes’ front office, making appearances in the community on the team’s behalf, team president Don Waddell announced. The release from the team is below.


Inks ceremonial contract to retire with the Hurricanes, will be team ambassador

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed left wing Erik Cole to a ceremonial contract. Cole subsequently announced his retirement from his playing career in hockey.

Following Cole’s announcement, Hurricanes President Don Waddell named him as team ambassador.

Selected by the Hurricanes in the third round, 71st overall, of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Cole played 892 career regular-season NHL games with the Hurricanes, Oilers, Canadiens, Stars and Red Wings, totaling 265 goals and 267 assists (532 points). The Oswego, NY, native appeared in 46 career Stanley Cup playoff games, totaling 14 points (6g, 8a), reaching the Stanley Cup Final twice and capturing a Stanley Cup championship with the Hurricanes in 2006. He represented the United States in international tournaments including the 2005 and 2007 IIHF World Championships and the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

Cole appeared in 557 career games with Carolina, and ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played, points (363), hat tricks (5) and shorthanded goals (8). He was one of four rookies in franchise history to record a hat trick in his rookie season, notching three goals against Atlanta on Dec. 21, 2001, and he matched a franchise record with nine game-winning goals during the 2010-11 season. Cole netted 30 goals during the 2005-06 season before suffering a neck injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 4, 2006. He returned to action just over three months later, skating in the final two games of the Stanley Cup Final for Carolina.

Enjoy the game!