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Rod Brind’Amour: ‘The guys want to get going and play games.’

The Canes’ head coach spoke to the media via Zoom Saturday about the upcoming exhibition game and more, and gave updates on Dougie Hamilton, Martin Necas and Brett Pesce.

NHL: JUL 25 Hurricanes Training Camp Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Phase three is officially done for the Hurricanes. Following two weeks of training camp practices at PNC Arena, the team will depart for Toronto tomorrow and turn its focus to Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Capitals, and the start of its Stanley Cup Qualifier Series against the Rangers Saturday.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media via Zoom Saturday for the final time before the team departs.

On the departure schedule: We’re testing in the morning, and then we have a late afternoon flight. That’s about all I know. That gets to two areas I need to be.

On if Brett Pesce will go to Toronto and have a roster spot: Everybody here is flying, but Pesce is not going to be flying up with us. Not yet. He’s not there yet, not quite up to speed. We’re definitely putting him on [the roster]. Hopefully we see him at some point. If we’re talking about Brett Pesce playing, things are going in the right direction.

On what he liked in practice: I really liked the first week. Everyone was just excited to be back out and that’s what they do. They want to play hockey, and they were jacked up. But now I think they’re ready to play some games. Even though, from a coaching standpoint, I’m probably not quite seeing what I love, but I’d like to see it sharper. I think at this point, we’ve had enough practices. We’re not going to get there until we start playing games. This is one of those where a preseason game is definitely going to be beneficial for everybody, just to get the rust off and really gauge where we’re at as a group.

On Dougie Hamilton and Martin Necas being unfit to play: Yeah, Dougie for sure. [Necas] did something when he was skating around, and I don’t anticipate to be anything but he left. I’ve got to get in there and get a better view of it, but from what I was told, it shouldn’t be an issue.

On using the exhibition game for decisions vs. a tune up: I would say it’s definitely tuning everybody up, myself included. But to sit here and say decisions are made before we go into that game, I’d be wrong. So we’re definitely going to make some decisions after that game for the lineup going forward. I would say the game matters for sure, for the lineup.

On decisions for forwards vs. defensemen: It’s everywhere. That game means a lot, just to get a sense of where everyone is and who’s going to give us the best chance to win.

On avoiding curve balls in camp: We definitely covered everything that we wanted to cover. Would you like to have more time to dive into all that? Sure. But we’re at a point where I think just mentally and physically, the guys want to get going and play games. That’s where we’re at. Did we dodge curve balls? I could never hit a curveball. We’re not on the plane yet, so we’ll see. Hopefully.