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.
There is no question that the organization’s future on the blue line is perhaps brighter than ever before. With that in mind, I thought two defensive prospects saw their stock rise heading into training camp this week.
Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin both assembled impressive tournaments. Pesce made his presence felt on the scoresheet, no more so than when he netted two goals – which erased a two-goal deficit and forced overtime – against Dallas. Pesce was unable to get on the ice at development camp due to an injury, but after this week, he’s definitely one to keep an eye on as training camp progresses.
Slavin, who unofficially tallied three assists in four tournament games, garnered plenty of attention with his steady play on the ice. He defended well and skated the puck through the neutral zone with incredible poise. Not to mention, he’s filled out to be a big man, and the Hurricanes have a soft spot for big, mobile defensemen.
I didn’t include Haydn Fleury in this group for one reason: as a seventh overall pick from a year ago, his stock and the accompanying expectations are already reasonably high. Even still, he had an overall solid performance, unofficially recorded six assists and a plus-5 rating in four games.
The challenge for Fleury heading into training camp is the restrictive transfer agreement between the NHL and CHL; since he won’t turn 20 until July, Fleury is ineligible to play in the AHL this season. So, which is better for his development: to be a seventh or eighth or ninth defenseman in the NHL or play a key role in his final season with the Red Deer Rebels?
Pesce and Slavin, on the other hand, are set to begin their professional careers, and it wouldn’t shock me if one or both play for the big club at some point in the 2015-16 season.
One player immediately comes to mind with this question, and that is forward Sergey Tolchinsky. He may be small, but he’s fleet-footed, he’s shifty and his hands can be silky smooth. With that skillset, it’s hard not for your eye to be attracted to him when he’s on the ice.
This is especially true in three-on-three overtime. Recall that Tolchinsky scored the game-winning goal against Dallas in the new overtime format, and though it happened rather quickly, I would not have been surprised to see Tolchinsky spend a vast majority of those five minutes on the ice. He is practically made for three-on-three with so much open ice available for him to motor around. As if he wasn’t already dangerous enough, he borders on lethal when two skaters aside are subtracted.
Though he didn’t net any headline-grabbing, highlight reel goals in the tournament, he still put together a reasonable showing with three goals and one assist in four games. It wasn’t a jump-out-of-your-seat-what-did-I-just-see goal, but he did score twice on a patented Tolchinsky move: streaking down the wing, cutting into the slot and then firing one to the back of the twine.
The Hurricanes can only control streaming of preseason home games, which fall on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. As of now, we will not be able to stream those games.
Whether Pittsburgh, Washington or either of the maritime neutral site locations will provide live streams (and whether those will be available outside of their home markets) is at their and their rights holder’s discretion. It is often the case that if a team streams its preseason game, it will have to geogate its availability due to rights holder agreements.
So, the simple and short answer is: I don’t believe we will have access to any live streams this preseason, but we’ll certainly pass them along if they become available.
We’ll have a full promotional calendar on the site very soon! Until then, have you seen the Opening Night giveaway? It’s pretty sweet, and it will pair nicely with last year’s scarf.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you have advice on what new phone I should buy you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email