Hi! Long time, no Tweetmail.
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.
* And we're back! Thanks for being patient during the site transition. Now that we've settled into our new digs - new features and pages are being added on a daily basis - and with a new season upon us, it seems like the perfect time to bring back Tweetmail.
With that, let's get to it.
Somewhat settled, I suppose. The Aho-Lindholm-Teravainen trio is certainly going to get a good look. Those are three extremely creative offensive minds, and apparent chemistry was building during the exhibition season. Nordstrom-Staal-Nestrasil is a line you at least have to assess, considering how well they played with one another last season before Nestrasil's injury. Skinner-Rask-Stempniak will probably be utilized, and Bickell-McClement-Stalberg seems like a heavy fourth line. There is, of course, flexibility within those lines. A number of players are versatile in that they can move up and down the lineup. And Phil Di Giuseppe and Martin Frk, who we'll discuss more in the next question, are waiting in the wings.
Even still, by early November we could be looking at four completely different trios as things always change with the natural ebb and flow of the regular season.
Good question, and I think this is something we're all going to discover together over the next few weeks. Martin Frk, a second-round draft pick in 2012, was claimed on waivers by the Hurricanes with the thought that he could produce at the NHL level. The team has brought him into the fold with the intention of bolstering their offensive production, and even though Frk has yet to make his NHL debut, they believe he is capable of contributing. I'm not sure Frk will dress for opening night in Winnipeg, but perhaps he gets a look at some point on this trip.
It's going to be whoever can hold on to that spot. With Ryan Murphy slated to miss 3-4 weeks with a lower-body injury, a number of players might see an opportunity to grab regular playing time. There are, of course, the two newcomers: Jakub Nakladal, who the Canes signed as a free agent on Sunday, and Klas Dahlbeck, who the Canes claimed on waivers from Arizona on Tuesday. Dahlbeck may see first action, as he's expected to be available for the team's season opener in Winnipeg, while Nakladal is likely going to join the Canes in Vancouver once his immigration gets sorted.
There's also Roland McKeown who, as a first-year pro, made the Canes' 23-man opening night roster out of training camp. He and Nakladal are right shots, and the vacancy left by Murphy is on the right side; head coach Bill Peters prefers to have both a left and right shot on each pair, but he also would rather a first-year player develop in Charlotte instead of having to be thrown straight into action.
So who steps up? That's going to be something to watch in the first few weeks of the season. Should someone play well in that sixth defenseman role, how does the situation play out when Murphy returns? Just as in training camp, he'll again be fighting for his spot with the big club.
As has been the case the last few seasons, the Hurricanes will wear their black alternate sweaters 12 times in the 2016-17 campaign. All of those dates are at home, the first being on Saturday, Nov. 12 against Washington and the last being Thursday, March 30 against Columbus. A full schedule can be found here.
As a side note, the Hurricanes are scheduled to see opposing teams' third jerseys just twice: Dec. 3 at the New York Rangers and on New Year's Eve in Tampa Bay.
Great news! I'll be back on the road with the team this season for all 41 road games. In fact, I'm finishing this sentence as we make our way to Winnipeg on Canes Air right now. It should be a fun season with plenty of engaging content coming your way on the brand-new CarolinaHurricanes.com.
Speaking of the new site, any requests or features you'd like to see added? Let me know in the comments below.
Josef Vasicek's No. 63 is not retired, but similar to Steve Chiasson's No. 3, it's an honored number within the organization and is not worn by any active player.
Obviously Raleigh because Gonza Tacos y Tequila and the Lacko Taco, which is scrumptious. And even better, they're half off on home gamedays and Tuesday away gamedays! Can't beat it.
But otherwise this is a trick question, and the answer would be all of them because tacos are tacos, delicious pretty much anywhere.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you'd like answered or you just want to lambast me for the Tweetmail hiatus, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.