Canes ready for season, whenever it starts
Posted September 6, 2012
Updated September 7, 2012
Everything looks normal as the Carolina Hurricanes are on the ice getting ready for training camp.
And yet, it's not normal - not this time.
As they've done for years, Canes players have gathered on their own to practice together in preparation for the season.
But this time, they have no idea when the season will start. The NHL's labor dispute continues and, much like the negotiations we've seen in the other major sports, it appears likely to delay the start of training camp - if not the season as well.
"You have to go at it like normal," said defenseman Tim Gleason. "Because, it could pretty much happen overnight."
That's all these players can do at this point, prepare physically to start camp at a moment's notice. Gleason says the players are much better informed about the process than they were eight years ago. That labor dispute carried through an entire season.
The up-in-the-air status of the season comes at an inopportune time for the Canes as an organization. This was the summer the Canes finally made a splash in terms of acquisitions, picking up Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin in a series of moves that should transform the team's offense.
Canes fans got their first chance to see the younger Staal on the ice this week. He's been a fixture in the informal workouts. The question now is: When will those workouts become formal - with the entire team and coaches?
"It is unfortunate," Staal said. "You can tell in this room, everyone's excited. I know I'm very excited to be here, and I kind of want to get the season rolling."
"It's a little hiccup," Staal said of the labor strife. "But hopefully we'll figure it out."
If that's the case, here's hoping Don Fehr and Gary Bettman are in a room right now drinking water and holding their breath - whatever it takes to get rid of this 'hiccup'.