If you do not land at the home page and notice that the appearing and disappearing Canes and Coffee cups are up and after two years of dragging my feet in terms of selling merchandise, they are officially available for sale. Even better, you can order and pay now and then pick up your coffee cup at the Tenco Coffee food truck at the Caniac Carnival on Sunday. Details are HERE.
And for those looking for my notes on Tuesday’s Canes prospect debacle (a 9-2 whooping at the hands of the Blackhawks prospects), I did watch the game and scribble notes, but life got in the way in terms of posting them. I will either write them up at lunchtime or Wednesday or include them with my article on the Traverse City finale on Tuesday.
And with that, we will all turn our attention to the Carolina Hurricanes training camp which officially kicks off with the first of two group practices starting at 8:45am on Friday.
A more formal training camp preview will follow starting either on Wednesday or Thursday, but today’s Daily Cup of Joe just cannot wait, so I will talk a bit about the types of things I look for early in training camp as relates to where Coach Bill Peters’ mind is at in terms of sorting out the lineup for opening night. On the topic of reading Bill Peters’ mind (and Francis’ too), if you missed it, check out yesterday’s article with four questions that I wish I could get answered by the duo.
Here is a bit of a stream of conscious list of clues and information points that I will be watching closely starting on Friday.
Penalty kill reps for players who could be dark horses for a fourth line wing slot: Best guess is that the starting point penciled in as a fourth line includes some combination of Joakim Nordstrom, Marcus Kruger, Josh Jooris and Brock McGinn. All four players are on one-way deals and figure as depth forwards if in the lineup. The line could also feature three of the teams four forward penalty killers (just like all of McClement, Nordstrom and Stalberg were used on the penalty kill in 20161-17). So if a younger player is going to seize a slot, ideal but not 100 percent required would be if the player could also take the penalty kill minutes. So especially in preseason game action, I will be watching to see which young players get a look on the penalty kill.
Reps with NHLers: One telling sign that a young player is garnering NHL consideration is receiving ice time with players certain to be in the NHL. It is huge sign that the coach is at least considering if, how and with whom a young player might fit into the lineup.
Who slots at center: Jordan Staal, Victor Rask and Marcus Kruger are nearly certain if healthy to slot at center in the opening day lineup. That leaves one slot open. Derek Ryan figures to be the fourth center, but he is also the one that could be vulnerable if a gifted young offensive player looks ready ahead of schedule or if Ryan does not spark scoring therefore leaving Peters to try other options. I will be watching to see if any of Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho or Elias Lindholm see any ice time at center during training camp.
The initial line combinations and defense pairings: Things and will change over the course of the season and even preseason, but how things start out does provide an indication of what Peters thinks will work best. So in that regard, I will be watching to see what the top two pairings on defense are initially and also what line combinations skate together in practice.
Stay tuned! A more in-depth training camp preview is on the way. And please consider adding to your coffee cup collection and supporting Canes and Coffee’s Hurricanes hockey coverage as we head into the 2017-18 season.
What say you Caniacs?
What will you be watching right out of the gate for training camp?