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Mike Maniscalco

Canes eager to get back to work

Posted January 13, 2013
Updated January 14, 2013

The Carolina Hurricanes officially returned to work Sunday at PNC Arena to the appreciative applause from their fans. It was a gesture not lost on the captain Eric Staal.

“It was awesome to see them and you know there are passionate fans here that love the game of hockey,” Staal said. “For us to go out there with them there, it was something pretty cool and special.”

The captain continued to note that the players have a lot to do to show how important the fans in Carolina are to the club. “We want to make sure that we are preparing this week as best we can to reward them with some good hockey here the next few months.”

Still, there is a lot of work to be done in a small amount of time and new faces that have to blend in to provide that good hockey Staal is talking about. Carolina Hurricanes Logo More Hurricanes Stories

Alex Semin, the former Washington standout is the highly skilled offensive player that the organization has tried to find to complement Staal, took part in his first workout with the team. The amount of time it takes for Staal and Semin to get on the same page could determine if Carolina gets off to a hot start or has to claw for a playoff berth. Semin is the player that Staal believes with just the threat of his ability will benefit the Canes offense this season, even on nights when the talented Russian might not have his 'A' game.

Carolina getting off to a good start, which has not been the team's strength the past few seasons, might just depend on how many A games that duo has. With eight of the Canes first 12 games on the road, there is little time to experiment with the line-up to figure out what is the best line-up for the coaching staff.

Kirk Muller said it seems easy to figure out what the lines should be.

Canes hit the ice for first workout Fialko: Canes hit the ice for first workout

“If you look at it, you write on paper what you think is going to be the right line-up, you like Staal with Semin, Jordan with Skinner starting off,” Muller said.

“I don’t think coaches have the luxury of being as patient this year as you’d like and trying not to move lines around. You need to get off to a good start and if guys are going they’re going to play.”

Jordan Staal, acquired from Pittsburgh what seemed like an eon ago, has waited a while to get on the ice with his Hurricane teammates and was teamed with Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose in the first official practice of the year. The younger Staal was eager to get to know his new mates.

“It’s nice to just to get this training camp going, getting out with the guys and being part of that team.”

How quick the team comes together in an abridged training camp is now the major question that the lockout has left fans with.

Canes Camp Notes:

It was a busy day for Jim Rutherford as the Hurricanes GM made two deals.

First Carolina traded back-up goaltender Brian Boucher, defenseman Mark Alt to Philadelphia for forward Luke Pither. The 23-year-old Pither will report to the Canes AHL affiliate in Charlotte. Boucher suffered a groin injury last year that derailed his stay in Carolina. The Canes inked veteran Dan Ellis, who had been in Charlotte to a two-way contract this morning, to be Cam Ward’s back-up.

Ward was held out of the second practice Sunday afternoon. He has been battling the flu and has stated it’s been a big week for him, not just with the NHL ending the lockout. He has become a father for the second time.

The second deal that the Canes made Sunday brought in the grit that Rutherford is looking for on his fourth line. Carolina picked up forward Kevin Westgarth from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Anthony Stewart, a 2013 fourth-round draft pick and a sixth-round selection in the 2014. Westgarth is a 6’4” 228 pound bruiser from Princeton that has appeared in 90 NHL regular-season games, earning five points (1g, 4a) and compiling 153 penalty minutes. He is also Bill Cowher’s son-in-law. He married Cowher’s daughter Meagan in 2011 and lives in Raleigh.

13 Comments

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  • fuzzter1 Jan 15, 3:26 a.m.

    A couple of thoughts...

    sburks - Who leaves Raleigh for DC? I grew up in DCmetro and it sucks. WTH?

    caniacman - Thanks for the observations! I'm so excited about our season!

    hokie94 - Ah, making the hillbillies pround. It's "champing" at the bit, not chomping. It's a horse racing term. Look it up. You know in a book-learnin sort of way. I'm guessing you're also an insufferable attention addict. I understand it considering...

    fish - Come on, man. Every thread on every article? Are you that needy for attention? I've written it down because you are so obnoxious about it and even if they go 13-35, I will ride your caboose for as long as I can.

    Now, why can't anyone tell me why these games aren't on television? Is FSC pouting or just logistically challenged? Hey hokie94, do you have an answer? Enlighten us won't you please O'Sports Legend of message boards!

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 14, 3:47 p.m.

    The first practice was good, guys looked crisp and ready to go. Amazing how big is Jordan Staal... View More

    — Posted by caniacman

    Sounds like you've seen them practice, I sure hope they get off to a fast start. I'm looking forward to next saturday nights opener at Florida. This is also Kirk Muller's 1st full season as coach ...... I'd like to see what he can do from start to finish with this bunch.

  • 321oohaw Jan 14, 1:07 p.m.

    12-36

  • Hokies94 Jan 14, 1:06 p.m.

    These guys have been chomping at the bit for a long time. They should be ready.

  • aschmidt11 Jan 14, 12:19 p.m.

    Have to get out of the gates fast or we will be looking at season # 4 with no Stanley Cup Playoffs in Raleigh.

    Got the jersey out and ready to go!

  • caniacman Jan 14, 11:41 a.m.

    The first practice was good, guys looked crisp and ready to go. Amazing how big is Jordan Staal looks when he was next to Eric who is no slouch. Semin has an amazing wrist shot. Skinner looked good, but Drayson Bowman was lighting up both goalies, he looked the best of the Charlotte bunch. That will be the most interesting part of the next 7 days, who from charlotte shows they belong and will that mean more roster moves?

  • sburks1906 Jan 14, 11:11 a.m.

    Hockey is back. Thank God. Unfortunately I relocated to the DC area from Raleigh, so I won't get to see the Canes as much as I had hoped. I'll still see them when they come here to play the Capitals though!
    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-yT

  • 75Tarheel Jan 14, 10:41 a.m.

    Hope the Canes get off to a fast start for a change and do well. GO CANES!!

  • JohnnyVoodoo Jan 14, 8:27 a.m.

    Gotta tip my hat to hockey fans. Seems hard to get all excited with a season that's getting started after much of it has already been wasted. But, nevertheless, Go Canes, right?

  • Luv2Camp Jan 14, 8:04 a.m.

    Good luck to the Canes. This STH spent his $ on Wolfpack bball tickets.

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