Like every player who finished the 2010-11 season with the Carolina Hurricanes, Chad LaRose
had a long summer.
And while those long summers certainly aren’t ideal, they do allow for some much needed time off before another grueling season begins.
“Never like those long summers,” LaRose said. “But I got to see some family and rest up some body parts. Now we’re back at it.”
Before LaRose could get back at it with the Canes, however, he had to sign a new contract. As an unrestricted free agent, he could have tested the waters on July 1, as he did two years prior before re-signing with Carolina on July 2.
That summer, LaRose was coming off the most productive season of his career that saw him net 19 goals and record 12 assists for 31 points. Last season, despite a glaring -21 plus/minus rating, he again totaled 31 points (16g, 15a).
This time around, however, the decision was much easier for him. He agreed to another, nearly identical two-year deal with the Canes on June 29, avoiding hitting the market as a free agent.
“It’s a really good organization. I like it here, and the fans are great,” he said. “We’re going to win here, and that’s the main reason I’m back.”
Since the retirement of Rod Brind’Amour, LaRose has been the unofficial organizer of the informal skates that take place before the start of training camp. This morning, he led a group of around 15 players in an on-ice workout.
In running these workouts, he tries to bring the same energy he exudes night in and night out during the regular season.
“It feels good being back here and woopin’ it up on the ice,” he said. “Getting the boys going makes it feel good knowing that the season is right around the corner. It’s a good feeling.”
LaRose, while obviously disappointed with the outcome last April, sees a lot the team can build on heading into this season.
“We’ve got a good group of guys, and we’re going in the right direction,” he said. “I think we’ll be in the playoffs and we’ll go well into them, and we’ll see what happens from there.”
The fans can catch Chad LaRose
in action in the annual Red-White game on Sunday, Sept. 18 during the Caniac Carnival
. With that friendly match a short five days away, it’s a sure sign that the season is fast approaching.
“You know it’s that time of year,” LaRose said. “Training camp can be tough, but it’s all part of the season. We’re excited to get it going here Friday.”Other tidbits from the informal workouts at the RBC Center:
- Jeff Skinner was back in the house today. He didn’t participate in the skate between 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon.
- As was the case yesterday, there was plenty of work going on in the weight rooms, in addition to what was happening on-ice.
- Justin Peters and Mike Murphy were in net for the informal skate.
- LaRose ran the drills this morning. Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu were among the other notables that participated.
- LaRose was one of the players CanesVision was slated to shoot today, so he left the ice before the skate began to wrap up.