If you have not already, please read this CandC update and reintroduction of Canes and Coffee.

With hockey season upon us and actual topics for conversation on the way, we hope to make an abrupt shift in what Canes and Coffee is and what people do when they visit.

More succinctly: It is time to launch the coffee shop and the conversations that come with it!

Unless the Hurricanes make a late addition via trade or free agent signing, the team will enter training camp with 5 defensemen signed to 1-way NHL contracts and all but assured opening night NHL roster spots unless injured.

That list includes Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles and Michal Jordan.

One would figure that the Canes will ultimately carry 7 defensemen if everyone is healthy which begs the question of who will win the remaining 2 spots from a big list of young defensemen.

Which players will earn the 2 open slots on defense?

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And if an injury eliminates 1 of the 5 veterans, who would be the 8th defenseman who starts the season at the NHL level as an injury replacement?

If a spot becomes available for a 3rd defenseman because of injury, who would it be? (do not pick 1 of the 2 players picked for the poll above)

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Early voting on the 1st 2 polls has some combination of Noah Hanifin, Haydn Fleury and Ryan Murphy mostly taking the 1st 2 slots and also the alternate slot.  This prompts the question of who people would rate behind this trio as a dark horse.

If you had to pick a dark horse to make the Canes 2015-16 opening night roster on defense, who would it be?

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We would also love to hear everyone’s thoughts before training camp even starts for how this race ultimately shakes out.  Please register and comment below…Or less formally, grab a pumpkin latte (I hear they are all the rage), pull up a chair and tell everyone what you think.

No commitment yet, but I am hoping to round up a small prize or 2 to lottery off to someone who correctly picks the roster.

Go Canes!

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