Canes get together on Raleigh ice after NHL reaches deal
Posted January 7, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — After a very long off-season that was extended by a 113-day lockout, the Carolina Hurricanes got back on the ice Monday as they went through an informal workout at Raleigh Center Ice.
With a new collective bargaining agreement tentatively reached, and training camp still a few days away, Canes players continued to hold their own workouts. The difference now is that they have been assured a season – something that was not so certain just a few days ago.
“Watching it day-by-day and being excited that we had potential to get back on the ice, to maybe seeing that there wouldn’t be any hockey at all, it was up and down at times,” said captain Eric Staal.
For the nearly two dozen die-hard fans that showed up Monday at RCI to watch the skate, the wait is now over as well.
“I'm just excited,” said Hurricanes fan Tony McCoy. “I saw that they signed. I'm ready for hockey to be back.”
Goaltender Cam Ward is excited to be back on the ice too and said Monday that the fans like McCoy are keeping the game moving in the right direction despite the hiatus.
“I had to believe that eventually things would get done and we would get back on the ice,” said Ward. “Our game is going in the right direction with the fan base and it would be a huge mistake to miss the whole season.”
But not all fans are on the same page and insist that with the shortened season, it will take more than just showing up to win them back.
“They're going to have to show me something that makes it worth hanging in there long term,” said Canes fan Edith Creasy.
“I'm not sure if I'll be attending any games this year,” added Kohl Schultz. “I'm not very happy with both owners and players. It was a rough go, I didn't appreciate it.”
Nearly seven months after the Canes made their deal for Eric Staal’s younger brother, Jordan, the two can now honestly say they’re on the same team.
“It feels like it’s just been a long visit here,” said Jordan Staal. “I’m excited just to be part of this organization and get to know the guys better and get to be part of a great team.”
Training camp could start as soon as this weekend with the season starting a week later. That presents a short amount of time to build a team – and rebuild a fan base
“I feel like we have a game that can grow,” Eric Staal said. “I feel like we have personnel in our league, with the help of ownership and the league, that can help bring the game to new heights.”
The details of the CBA still have to be formally signed onto by the league and the players association, but the basic parameters call for a strict salary cap, an extension of player benefits and a 50-50 split in revenue between the players and owners. The season will be no less than 48 games but could reach 50.