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Tweetmail No. 31: Impressions, Preseason & Camp

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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Hello and welcome to 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.

Any comment on some of the guys who impressed you in Traverse City? – Joe R. (@ribar96)

I thought there was a lot to like from the group of 22 in Traverse City.

For one, Victor Rask dominated, which is probably to be expected considering it was his third year participating in the annual tournament. He led all skaters with nine points (4g, 5a) in four games, notching a two-goal game against New York and a two-assist game against Detroit in the last two games, respectively.

In fact, the team’s first line of Brock McGinn, Rask and Sergey Tolchinsky was overall a positive point. When McGinn sat out of the second game, his absence was noticeable, and a seemingly bigger Tolchinsky displayed the same sick hands and quick feet that earned him a contract after being undrafted a year ago.

Elsewhere up front, I liked Alex Aleardi’s game. He won’t be in training camp, but he is signed with the Charlotte Checkers on an AHL contract for this season.

Haydn Fleury, selected seventh overall this summer, was reliable on the back end, and he’s only going to get better as he progresses in his career. His defensive partner, Dennis Robertson, looks to be quite the find; Robertson came over from Toronto in the Tim Gleason and John-Michael Liles swap in January, and he put together a nice tournament, capped with a power-play goal in the final game off a beauty of a feed from the aforementioned Rask.

Finally, after not being able to see him in development camp due to a broken thumb, second-round pick Alex Nedeljkovic impressed in net. He made 50 saves on 53 shots over two games – both wins – for a .943 save percentage.

Overall, it was a strong showing for the Canes in what was initially pegged as a pretty competitive division. There is a lot to like with this group of prospects moving forward.

Any hints on who will be on the ice next Sunday for the first preseason game? Rookies, veterans or a mix? – Edith C. (@caniac47)

It will be just the third day of training camp when the Columbus Blue Jackets (in a split squad situation) come to Carolina to face the Hurricanes in the preseason opener.

With that in mind, I’d expect to see the roster comprised of a healthy mix of more established guys and those fighting for a roster spot. Realistically, this will probably be the case for the first few preseason games; you’ll begin to see a preseason game roster that more resembles an Opening Night squad as cuts are made and the group is whittled down.

We’ll get final word on the game group as Sunday draws closer, but here’s a little snippet of what head coach Bill Peters had to say about training camp:

“I think you’re going to see a training camp that’s very competitive. We’ve got good depth at all three positions, really,” he said. “We play an exhibition game on the third day of camp, so we’ve got to get some work done and get ready. Guys are going to get an opportunity to show us what they’re all about. It’s a clean slate for everybody.”

Will Chad LaRose be suiting up for Hurricanes training camp? – Steve H. (@CanicaSteve)

This question was posed before the Canes’ 51-man training camp roster was released on Tuesday night, but I got a lot of similar questions after that, so here we go.

LaRose, who was signed by Charlotte to an AHL contract in late July, will not be at Canes’ camp. The reason behind this is that he has a leg injury and is not at 100 percent health-wise.

“I’m not sure he’s there yet, so if he’s not, he’ll go to Charlotte, and we’ll see how he progresses from there,” Francis told CarolinaHurricanes.com in Traverse City.

According to Paul Branecky, Checkers head coach Jeff Daniels hopes to have LaRose in Charlotte’s training camp in late September.

How excited are you to visit every NHL arena this year? – The Storm Chase (@TheStormChase)

Super excited, and I’m pumped that I get to virtually bring you all along in that journey.

Have something specific you want to see while the team is on the road? Let me know!

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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 would like to know which food truck was seriously The Best Ever in Traverse City, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.



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