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Tweetmail No. 29: Competition, In-Game & College

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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After one last summer vacation, Tweetmail returns!

This is a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com 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.

Which spots in training camp will be most highly contested? From players 21 and under, who is your sleeper pick to make the roster? – Hurricanes Boosters (@CHBCHurricanes)

For the first time in years, there is real competition in goal. The starting job is neither Cam Ward’s nor Anton Khudobin’s, at this point in time. In today’s Canes Fan Town Hall, Bill Peters said he’s looking for one of the two to come in and establish himself as the No. 1 guy, the “stud” as he said. Since there’s only one starting job – one that really hasn’t been available since Ward backstopped the Canes to a Stanley Cup in 2006 – with two guys vying for it, this is certainly something to keep an eye on in training camp.

With that said, there will also be plenty of competition for depth spots on this team, whether it’s on the third line, which Peters said he wanted to be a scoring line to complement the first two, the fourth line or the third defensive pairing. There are going to be a number of players vying for each of these positions, especially on defense where it might come down to four or five guys jockeying for two regular roles.

In regards to a sleeper pick under the age of 21, I’d say Brock McGinn. Had it not been for CHL/NHL age restrictions, he would have likely started his professional career last season; instead, McGinn laid waste to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), as he began the season by stringing together a 23-game point streak, capped off with a five point (2g, 3a) performance against Mississauga on Nov. 19. Now 20 years of age, McGinn is poised to turn pro, and he’ll be one to watch in camp.

With Peters at the helm, I have a feeling it’s going to be a highly competitive and intense training camp – and it begins in just a couple short weeks.

Could you perhaps give us some insight into the changes to in-game entertainment for next season? – Andrew S. (@aschnitt53)

Sure thing. This is something Don Waddell touched on a bit in today’s Canes Fan Town Hall.

Years ago, the Canes’ in-game presentation was regarded as one of the best in the league. In struggling to break some things perhaps seen as “traditions,” the growth of the organization’s in-game entertainment has been somewhat hindered.

The revitalized in-game experience will focus more on hockey while still featuring fun promotions. You’ll see more replays and more stats and will, in turn, you’ll hear less PA reads, allowing the game to breathe a little more. Fun promotions will still pop up, but they will be more centered on hockey, which mimics the tonal shift of the in-game entertainment. There are also plans to bring in an outside DJ to bring a fresh feel to the music heard throughout the game.

Additionally, the arena’s new lighting system will further augment the in-game atmosphere; efficient lighting controls and instant on/off and dimming capabilities will allow for enhanced special effects, whether it’s during player introductions, during play or after goals.

There are some other little tweaks here and there that you might notice, but we won’t spoil all of it right now!

Will the Canes College Rush deal return this season? – Brian W. (@bwat7)

Yes, both college ticket specials – College Rush and College Select Nights – return for the 2014-15 season.

The College Rush program allows students with a valid ID to purchase upper-level Rex Wing tickets for just $10 at designated windows at PNC Arena's box office one hour before faceoff for all Canes home games.

If you want to secure your seat in advance, you can purchase tickets through the College Select Night program, which features seven Thursday night games and one Friday night tilt (Opening Night on 10/10/14 vs. the New York Islanders). Students can get upper level Rex Wing tickets for as low as $15 and lower-level seats for as low as $35 through this online-only program.

More details on the two college programs offered can be found here, and a full list of special ticket offers will be released in the near future.

Did you enjoy your vacation? – Renee D. (@RDailey28)

I did very much so.

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Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to send me on another vacation, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.



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