When the Carolina Hurricanes took the ice for the ninth day in Phase 3, they were missing a big piece of their blue line.
Dougie Hamilton, who left practice early on Wednesday with an unspecified injury, did not practice with the team on Thursday.
And that's about all we might know.
Here are the top storylines, news nuggets and quotes from Thursday's training camp skate.
I reported on Wednesday that Hamilton left Canes' practice early during power play drills. He was experiencing visible discomfort and was followed to the locker room by Head Athletic Trainer Doug Bennett.
When the whistle blew to begin practice on Thursday, Hamilton was not present. Instead, Jake Bean joined the group as the eighth defenseman.
Because clubs are not permitted to disclose player injury and/or illness information during this return to play process, we don't know much about what's ailing Hamilton or how long it might keep him out.
"I can't talk about his injury. That's it, I guess," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "He's unfit to play at this moment."
In Hamilton's absence, Sami Vatanen was promoted to the top defensive pairing alongside Jaccob Slavin. Vatanen, a right shot, also subbed in for Hamilton as the lone defenseman on the Canes' top power play unit.
Video: "He's [Dougie] a very talented player."
"I think he's getting a little more accustomed to how we want to play," Brind'Amour said of Vatanen, who has yet to suit up for the Canes after they acquired him at the trade deadline. "The way we play is a little different than they've been used to playing, and it really shows on the defensive side. That's the biggest area."
With Hamilton sidelined for now, the Canes can tap into their substantial depth on the blue line.
"One of the deepest D corps in the league, and our offense is right there, too. We've got a stacked team," Joel Edmundson said. "If we put all our pieces together and work hard every game, we'll leave ourselves in a good spot. Everyone is feeling good right now."
Bonding as a Team
Edmundson, who received his Stanley Cup ring from the St. Louis Blues in February, is familiar with the bonds of a championship-caliber club.
"I'm a strong believer in if you have fun with each other away from the rink, it transfers onto the ice," he said. "After practice, a bunch of us will go play a round of golf and spend as much time as we can together."
Video: "You go to war every night."
There will be plenty of time to spend together in Toronto, as well.
Cards, movies, video games, board games. Maybe a chance to get some fresh air or a little physical activity outside. That will be bubble life.
How do you pack for such a unique trip? That remains a confuddling situation.
"I have to start packing something," Teuvo Teravainen shrugged. "I don't know."
"I took everything home with me before the break, and I didn't really bring much back to Raleigh," Edmundson said, adding that he might need to make a shopping trip prior to Sunday. "I don't really know what to bring, to be honest."
The Carolina chapter of the PHWA announced on Thursday that Jordan Martinook had been selected as the Josef Vasicek Award winner, which honors cooperation with the media.
It's certainly a deserving award for one of the most outspoken members of the Canes. One of the team's alternate captains, Martinook is a vocal leader and a sparkplug of energy.
"He's just nonstop fun every day. Maybe some day you don't feel so good, but then you come to the rink and see Marty, and it's a smile," Teravainen said. "His jokes and that kind of stuff, it's pretty funny, actually. And it's big for the games. He's one of the loudest guys."
Video: "I feel like the guys are ready."
"We spend the majority of our time together off the ice as a group and as a family. You need those leaders, those guys who take charge and bring everyone together off the ice. That's what he does," Brind'Amour said. "Very, very special player in that regard."
One Day Closer to Toronto
The Canes will work out off the ice and digest some video on Friday. Saturday will mark the team's final practice in Raleigh prior to departing for Toronto on Sunday.
It's (finally) about that time.
"I feel like we just need some games pretty soon," Teravainen said. "We're getting tired of practice."
"It's been a good couple weeks here to so far," Edmundson said. "We're looking forward to getting to Toronto and getting things started."
Release the Kraken
As Teravainen sat down for his virtual chat with the media, the NHL's 32nd franchise was about to announce its name.
Teravainen was asked if he had any ideas.
"I don't know," he smiled. "I hope it's something funny."
Then, Seattle released the Kraken, officially christening the NHL's newest member club. Seattle also unveiled its logos and uniforms, a sleek, aqua-inspired brand that many are already looking forward to seeing in action.
"It sounds good," Brind'Amour said when asked his opinion, noting he had heard rumblings of "Kraken." "I think it's great that they're getting going. Having hockey out there near Vancouver, maybe getting a rivalry going at some point, it's good."
See you in 2021, Seattle.