With the off-season upon us, the focus at Canes and Coffee has been on efforts to build the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes opening day roster. In case you missed in an odd night-time slot last night, the most recent was an article that listed and profiled my top 10 possibilities for adding a top 6 forward to the mix.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe will catch up on what has actually been a fairly busy week or so in terms of organization announcements.
2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes preseason schedule
Last week the team announced its seven-game preseason slate featuring two games in Raleigh. The games in Raleigh on game #3 on Wednesday, September 20 against Tampa Bay, and the finale against Washington on Friday, September 29. As a fan of all things Hurricanes including the prospects, I think the September 20 preseason game is a ‘must get a ticket’ game. As the third game as part of a quick three-game chunk to start the preseason, that will be the only chance to see some of the prospects who do not stick around in game action at PNC Arena.
The full preseason schedule can be found at CarolinaHurricanes.com.
2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes coaching staff
Probably most significant was the announcement that the current coaching staff would remain intact for the 2017-18 season. There is still an opening for a goalie coach in the spot vacated by David Marcoux, but Rod Brind’Amour and Steve Smith will return. The team also announced that it had added L.J. Scarpace as an additional video coach in addition to Chris Huffine. Unless something changes unexpectedly or someone significant is added in a consultant type role, this would be a miss for my list of five off-season predictions from April 20.
Meanwhile at the AHL level, though it has not been formally announced, reports indicate that Ulf Samuelsson will be leaving the Charlotte Checkers to become an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks. If accurate, the move will mean a third new coach in three years at the AHL level.
2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes athletic training and hockey operations announcements
Off the ice, the Hurricanes announced a set of athletic training and hockey operations promotions and moves. With the departure of Pete Friesen early in the off-season, the team announced Doug Bennett as the head athletic trainer and Bill Burniston as the head strength and conditioning coach. The team also added Brian Maddox as and assistant athletic trainer.
The Carolina Hurricanes also announced promotions for Eric Tulsky, Darren Yorke, Jeff Daniels and Sergei Samsonov.
In short, Ron Francis has been busy locking in his staff and tidying up things for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Charlotte Checkers forward Andrew Miller re-signed
On Tuesday, June 13, it was announced that the Hurricanes had re-signed Andrew Miller to a one-year, two-way contract. Miller did not see NHL action with the Hurricanes in 2016-17 but had a strong season with the Charlotte Checkers. He was one of the team’s offensive leaders during the Checkers’ second half surge into to the playoffs and also played well in the playoffs. Miller finished with 41 points in 55 games for the regular season and five points in five games for the playoffs.
On May 16, I wrote about the need for the Hurricanes to prune its forward ranks at the AHL level to make room for the influx of young prospects headed to Charlotte this fall.
I have half-written the follow up to my top 10 forward targets list today and might have that posted by afternoon if I find a gap to finish it up before then, so check back in later.