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Tweetmail No. 23: Fleury, Camp Roster & Outdoor Games

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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After some time off spent at the beach, Tweetmail is back!

This is a weekly feature on in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

Let’s get to it.

Will Haydn Fleury get a chance to make the pro roster? – Jared H. (@Holsty07)

The intrigue of training camp is that everyone, including Haydn Fleury, has a chance to make the roster.

That being said, it is tough for young defensemen to break into the NHL in their draft season. Fleury, who just turned 18, will attend Prospects Development Camp next week before heading to the annual rookie tournament in Traverse City in early September. He’ll then attend training camp, when a decision on if he’ll remain with the big club or return to Red Deer (WHL) will be made.

“You always want to be careful with young defensemen. They do take a little longer [to develop],” Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis said at the 2014 NHL Draft. “Ultimately, you want to do what’s best for Haydn and our franchise in the long-term, not the short term.”

“It’s a steeper learning curve for the defensemen. At the NHL level, it’s tough for these guys to come in and make an impact right away. It takes them a little longer,” Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald said in Philadelphia. “It’s a challenging position to play, and there are a lot of things to learn. But when a player has the signs and the tools … you can do a lot with that kind of player.”

An additional item to consider is the fact that the Hurricanes already have six NHL defensemen under contract: Justin Faulk, Tim Gleason, Ron Hainsey, Jay Harrison, John-Michael Liles and Andrej Sekera. Much like Ryan Murphy, at this point in Fleury’s career, it’s most important that he plays games. Because of his age, it will have to be at the NHL or junior level.

But, Fleury has a solid build complemented by a varied and skilled toolbox, so he will certainly be one to watch as the summer progresses.

Wondering, why no Sergey Tolchinsky in Prospects Development Camp? – Section 328 (@Section_328)

This was a very popular question after the Canes released their roster for Prospects Development Camp on Tuesday. That roster can be seen in glorious PDF form right here.

Francis said that Tolchinsky will be taking part in the Russian World Junior camp, held around the same time as Prospects Development Camp.

“If he came here, he would miss some of that,” Francis said. “And, there’s a new [Russian] coach, so we let him go there.”

Some of you also asked about 2012 draft picks Erik Karlsson and Collin Olson.

Karlsson, who signed a three-year, entry-level contract in May, will play in Sweden again this season. Francis and company felt it wasn’t necessary to bring him back stateside after he attended the team’s last two summer development camps.

Olson has also attended the previous two development camps. And, just as in practice, there will only be two nets available during Prospects Development Camp. Daniel Altshuller, who signed a three-year entry level contract in December, and Alex Nedeljkovic, who the Canes drafted 37th overall this year, will command most of the attention. Additionally, newly named goaltending coach David Marcoux will not be present having just been hired.

Should the NHL keep Stadium Series games intact? – Stephen B. (@sbchlaacp)

I would, sure. Why not?

A common complaint from having six outdoor games last season – a Winter Classic, a Heritage Classic and four games under the new Stadium Series header – was that it diluted the pageantry of the outdoor events. I can understand the point of view of this argument, but the Stadium Series provided some unique and beneficial opportunities.

The most obvious advantage is that it allowed multiple and diverse markets to experience an outdoor event in the same season. Hosting – successfully, too – a game in Los Angeles also opens the door to perhaps additional Stadium Series games in more “non-traditional markets.” While a Winter Classic scenario might not make sense in the Triangle, a Stadium Series game is certainly feasible.

Finally, hosting six outdoor matches in the 2013-14 season gave the NHL a chance to showcase their game in a unique environment in a year when hockey received added attention from the Winter Olympics.

Just one outdoor game has been made official for the 2014-15 season: the Winter Classic featuring the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks in our nation’s capital. A second outdoor match, perhaps featuring the Stadium Series moniker, is rumored to be hosted in California.

Again, I think the outdoor events are great for the league and lead to expanded exposure in an otherwise crowded sports marketplace. In the end, what’s the harm in having a handful of 1,230 regular season games held outdoors?


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you want to explain why multiple outdoor games are The Worst, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.

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