A few of the details had already leaked out from league announcements (the Kraft Hockeyville USA game against the Buffalo Sabres) and other teams’ schedule announcements (Washington Capitals announced 2 Canes games last week), but today Canes fans received the full and official Carolina Hurricanes preseason schedule.

The announcement from the team is HERE.

Here are some quick thoughts on the schedule

Bigger slate: The schedule increases from 6 to 7 games. I think this is generally a good thing. There is a balance to practice time and also the risk of injuries in game action, but I always feel like it would be beneficial to have 1-2 more games on the front end of training camp not so much for the veterans but to offer more game-action evaluation ice time for the players battling for roster spots.

Chance to see the games: Of the 7 games, 3 are certain to be viewable with 2 home games at PNC Arena and the Kraft Hockeyville game to be televised. That leaves 4 road games (1 is actually a home game in St. Sault Marie but away from Raleigh.) with the limitations of listening on the radio and/or trying to hunt down an internet stream if someone/somewhere is doing TV for the game.

Ron Francis homecoming: With the Kraft Hockeyville game in Marquette sort of up in Francis’ neck of the woods followed the next night with a game in Francis’ hometown of Sault Ste. Marie the middle of the preseason schedule offers a homecoming tour for Francis.

Delayed Sebastian Aho arrival: Aho is scheduled to play in the World Cup of Hockey which runs from September 17 through October 1. That schedule would see him join the team for practice and then leave and miss the first 3 preseason games before returning. With Justin Faulk’s dubious omission from Team USA, the only other Hurricane impacted is Michal Jordan (not yet signed for next season).

The big cut line: The schedule sees the Canes play back-to-back road games on September 26 and 27 followed by 2 days of practice and a home game on September 30. After that, the Canes hit the road for 3 road games in 4 days starting on October 2. That schedule suggests a first big roster cut date either September 30 or October 1 before the team departs for the road trip.

Mark your calendars: The Canes home preseason games are Friday, September 30 against the Lightning and Friday, October 7 against the Capitals.

You heard it here first – home opener should be October 12: The World Cup of Hockey and the resulting delayed start to the 2016-17 season could have an interesting impact on the Canes home opener and early schedule. Since parking and traffic nightmares from years past, it was unofficially decreed that the Carolina Hurricanes would not play home games during the North Carolina State Fair. The result is that the Canes usually get 1-2 home games in the season opening weekend before playing only road games over the 10 days of the fair. So for the 2016-17 NHL season, games officially start on October 12, and the fair starts on October 13. That would suggest that the Hurricanes play a quick home game on October 12 before playing the next 4-5 games on the road.

To be clear, this is NOT based on any kind of official announcement. I guess it is possible that the Canes start on the road and do not play their first home game until game #5 or #6 roughly 2 weeks into the season or that the team bends on its standard policy of not playing at home during the fair.


Go Canes!

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