To quote a certain wise baboon from my favorite childhood movie, it is time. The Hurricanes’ 25th anniversary season starts for real tonight, and the team will rock its alternate anniversary threads for the first time.
The Canes will get things started against a Metropolitan Division foe in the Columbus Blue Jackets, and they’ll do so with a lineup that looks pretty similar to what Rod Brind’Amour iced throughout camp and in the preseason games.
Brent Burns makes his Hurricanes regular season debut alongside Jaccob Slavin, and Frederik Andersen will make his return to the net in a game that counts for the first time since suffering a season-ending injury at Colorado in April.
The battle for the third pairing will open with Jalen Chatfield making the first opening night start of his career alongside Calvin de Haan, who returns to the Hurricanes after signing out of camp off a PTO. Dylan Coghlan and Ethan Bear will be the healthy extras on the blue line.
Up front, Stefan Noesen will sit out as the team’s 13th forward tonight. Here’s how Carolina projects to line up for this one:
Teuvo Teravainen - Sebastian Aho - Seth Jarvis
Andrei Svechnikov - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Martin Necas
Paul Stastny - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook - Derek Stepan - Ondrej Kase
Jaccob Slavin - Brent Burns
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Jalen Chatfield
Scratched: Dylan Coghlan, Ethan Bear, Stefan Noesen
Injured: Max Pacioretty (Achilles tendon)
The Hurricanes will be the first team to face off against the Columbus version of Johnny Gaudreau after the Blue Jackets landed the crown jewel of the 2022 free agent market.
They’ll also see an old friend, with Jake Bean set to skate on Columbus’ third pairing. In net, it’ll be Daniil Tarasov, as Elvis Merzlikins (illness) and Joonas Korpisalo (hip injury) are both unavailable to start the season.
Here’s how Columbus projects to line up tonight:
Johnny Gaudreau - Boone Jenner - Patrik Laine
Yegor Chinakhov - Jack Roslovic - Jakub Voracek
Gustav Nyquist - Cole Sillinger - Justin Danforth
Eric Robinson - Sean Kuraly - Mathieu Olivier
Zach Werenski - Adam Boqvist
Vladislav Gavrikov - Andrew Peeke
Jake Bean - Erik Gudbranson
Scratched: Liam Foudy, Nick Blankenburg
Injured: Elvis Merzlikins (illness), Joonas Korpisalo (hip)