The Canes hosted media day at PNC Arena on Tuesday, Sept. 1. With training camp fast approaching, CarolinaHurricanes.com and the local media sat down with a number of players for wide-ranging, informal chats.
Here are five questions with Canes forward Jordan Staal.
CarolinaHurricanes.com: Before your injury last season, you were in tremendous shape. How do you feel this summer?
Jordan Staal: I feel good. It was a very similar workout style to the previous summer. I still feel good on the ice, and that’s all that matters. Hopefully we can transition that into game one.
CH.com: There's a certain learning curve for a team in year one under a new coach. Heading into year two under Bill Peters, what's different?
Staal: There’s no question there was a base we were building. The accountability was there. Especially in the last few months, where the team wanted to be, the way we wanted to play, our identity, all those things Bill was preaching, you could tell we were slowly finding that and playing the way he wants us to play. With a lot of the players that are returning, they know what’s expected of them and what roles they might play. It’s one step ahead of where we were last year in that regard.
CH.com: How do you think three-on-three hockey will play out? Will you see more games decided in overtime?
Staal: I think, maybe even for the first year, it’s going to be difficult especially for coaching to figure out how it all plays out. I’m sure they’ll break it down a little more and start to figure out how to stop plays and stuff like that. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. There’s a lot of open ice, and I’m sure it will create some fun hockey. It will be fun to watch, no question, and that’s the ultimate goal.
CH.com: While you were out with an injury last season, Victor Rask took a huge step in his development. Where do you see him progressing this season?
Staal: Hopefully he keeps growing as a player and had a strong summer. There’s no question that he’s a smart player. Pretty much everyone on the team (last year) was hurting offensively, and I know he can step up in that part. He’s got great hands, great vision and a good shot – all the capabilities of doing it. He’ll keep improving on what he was doing and take it to another level.
CH.com: What excites you most about coming into this season?
Staal: When I was back (last season), it was fun to play. You could tell when we’re on our game and playing the way Bill wants us to, it’s fun. We can play against any team, and there’s the opportunity to do that. There’s been a lot of talk about young players coming up, especially on D. I’m excited about having a good, solid D corps that can easily create more offense for us. That definitely gets me excited, and I want to build off what we were building at the end of last season.