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Canes Begin Customizing Space at New Practice Facility

Players, staff offering input on design, features

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / Hurricanes.com

As the new state-of-the-art, twin-rink ice skating venue at Wake Competition Center comes together, so too does the Carolina Hurricanes' dedicated space at what will serve as the team's new practice facility.

Construction at the new building in Morrisville has continued unimpeded with a target open date for this summer.

Video: Construction update of the Wake Competition Center.

With that in mind, final layout and design details for the Canes' 12,000 square-feet of space are being hammered out with input from Majority Owner Tom Dundon, President and General Manager Don Waddell, the coaching staff, the training staff, the equipment staff and, of course, the players themselves.

A handful of players currently in town - Dougie Hamilton, Jaccob Slavin, Andrei Svechnikov, Vincent Trocheck and Justin Williams - recently took a walking tour of the facility.

"I think it's awesome. It's somewhere you look forward to coming to each day," Hamilton said. "You come to practice, and you want to be somewhere you enjoy being. It's obviously very nice. A lot of natural light in here. It will be fun for us to spend a lot of time here."

"It's sweet. We were hearing about this facility a couple years ago, even when I got here when the Canes drafted me," Svechnikov said. "It's so fun to see this. It's exciting, and I can't wait to see the whole building. It's going to be pretty fun. Everything new."

Together with Waddell and developer Jeff Ammons, who spearheaded the $30 million multi-sport complex, the players pored over the blueprints for the team's dedicated space and offered input on the design and features.

In a separate site visit, Dundon, Waddell and the hockey staff did the same, and the blueprints were tweaked on the fly - a few walls will be moved, some rooms and offices will be expanded, a door here, a door there, all in an effort to ensure the team is best utilizing the space.

One request from Svechnikov: An off-ice shooting gallery, similar to the one found outside the team's locker room on the south end of PNC Arena, where he can commonly be found after practices and games.

Trocheck seconded Svechnikov's request, and the group proceeded to map out an area for a suitable set up.

"Oh, yeah," Svechnikov said. "Very important."

There are questions like how many tables and chairs should be in the players' lounge, how big should the meeting room be, should there be a television in the tub room (yes) and where should the ping-pong table (at least one) go? And then there are the small details, like bathroom tile size, logos on the walls and colors for carpeting, skate-safe rubber flooring and turf.

The Canes have input in it all.

"It's cool that they're talking to us and getting our opinions on stuff," Hamilton said. "If we can try to help them a little bit with a player's perspective, it's beneficial."

As work continues in the coming weeks, the facility will begin to show more signs of life as the Canes' new practice home.

"This is like your house in a way. You're spending a lot of time here," Hamilton said. "You want it to be somewhere nice that you enjoy coming. I think it will be fun for everyone to be here."

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