The Carolina Hurricanes’ preseason schedule wraps up tonight at PNC Arena with a visit from the Washington Capitals, who the Canes defeated last week on the road. They aren’t the only ones who have beaten the Caps this preseason, with the visitors sporting a record of just 1-4 entering tonight and looking largely listless in a 4-1 loss to the woeful Devils on Wednesday.
The Canes made three cuts yesterday, with Nicolas Roy, Aleksi Saarela and Valentin Zykov assigned to Charlotte. Three more players - Trevor Carrick, Jeremy Smith and Jake Chelios - are on waivers and will be assigned to the Checkers at noon today unless claimed by another team.
Bill Peters plans to use this game as the Canes’ dress rehearsal for the regular-season opener next Saturday, so who plays tonight will be telling. It seems likely that Jake Bean and Janne Kuokkanen will be cut before Monday’s roster deadline, although their presence on the roster for tonight indicates they will likely play.
Beyond those two, at least one more cut needs to be made, possibly two depending on whether Lee Stempniak is placed on injured reserve to start the season. Lucas Wallmark and Martin Necas seem the most likely to be sent packing, although Necas likely will play at least the first few games of the regular season if Stempniak can’t go.
Tonight’s game will be streamed on Hurricanes.com in the Canes’ television market and it will also be available on NHL Network everywhere, so even out-of-towners will be able to enjoy the action tonight!
First, an update on CC Fantasy Hockey. As you likely know if you tried to sign up, the first league filled up very quickly. Fortunately, CC member Par Shooter has agreed to open a second league. This league will be a roto league, and the original league will be a head to head league.
If you would like to play in the roto league, head this way. If you are currently in the H2H league and want to play roto instead, you’re welcome to change leagues. Folks who change leagues will open up spots in the H2H league, so if you want to play H2H and the league was full, check the league page and see if there are any openings.
- Get up to speed on the rule changes in the NHL this season with this handy video. [NHL]
- It’s time for season predictions! Here is USA Today’s Kevin Allen, who has the Canes making the playoffs as a wild card. [USA Today]
- And Puck Daddy checks in, also predicting the Canes to make the postseason. [Puck Daddy]
- Former Hurricane Sami Kapanen offers some perspective on his son, Kasperi, being caught in a numbers game and ticketed for the AHL again. [Sportsnet]
- Jonathan Drouin gives a scouting report on the East’s top centers, one per team. [Sportsnet]
- Pierre LeBrun takes a look at the Lightning’s Big Three of Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, and explores what might have been had the lockout not intervened immediately after Tampa won the 2004 Stanley Cup. [The Athletic ($)]
- Another LeBrun special: Joe Thornton nearly followed his compatriot Patrick Marleau to Toronto over the summer. [The Athletic ($)]