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.
The make-up of the Charlotte Checkers will take some time to come together, as cuts are made and players are assigned from the Carolina Hurricanes' training camp in September. With that said, though, moves that the Hurricanes have made thus far in the offseason have helped paint an initial picture of what Charlotte's roster might look like in the 2017-18 campaign.
Forwards Warren Foegele, Julien Gauthier, Steven Lorentz, Nicolas Roy and Spencer Smallman will be turning pro this season, and if they don't make the big club, Charlotte seems a likely destination. Janne Kuokkanen and Aleksi Saarela are two others to watch in the Checkers' potential forward mix.
Perhaps more questions surround the defensemen and goaltenders in Charlotte. With a spot seemingly up for grabs on the Canes' blue line this season, Trevor Carrick, Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeown figure to be smack dab in the mix. What happens there will have a ripple effect on the Checkers' roster, which will still likely feature the likes of Jake Chelios, Dennis Robertson and Philip Samuelsson, among others.
In goal, the Checkers currently have four players jockeying for two slots. Among them are Callum Booth and Alex Nedejlkovic, one of whom will likely head to Florida of the ECHL to see consistent playing time. The Canes also signed veteran Jeremy Smith to a two-way contract on July 1. Smith is a reliable third-string option if either Scott Darling or Cam Ward go down with injury, and he'll also be a valuable asset for the Checkers.
There are more layers to all of these roster spots, and Nick Niedzielski hammered out all the details. Be sure to check that out.
Defenseman Keegan Kanzig was the piece that came back to Carolina, in addition to a sixth-round draft pick, in the trade with Calgary that involved Ryan Murphy and Eddie Lack.
Kanzig is a big boy. A large man. 6-foot-7, 247 pounds. Like I said, big. Large. He will add some much-needed snarl to the roster of wherever he winds up, likely Charlotte or Florida. Kanzig, a third-round draft pick of the Flames in 2013, completed his first professional season in 2016-17, splitting time between the AHL and ECHL.
Ultimately, the trade accomplished two things for the Hurricanes: it saved the team money by not having to buy out Lack and Murphy, both of whom were the odd men out in their respective positions, and it cleared up the three-way logjam in net.
Stay tuned! Much more information about individual game ticket on-sale dates, plus a full promotional schedule with special ticket offers, specific theme nights and giveaways will be coming your way soon. It's shaping up to be a fun season, especially with our plans surrounding the team's 20th Anniversary.
During Justin Williams' media scrum the other day, the above picture was captured. Well, it was a broader picture of Williams in front of the cameras, but my mug found its way into it. And, it's true - I either appear deep in thought or sad or, as the Hurricanes' own Laura Fazzina plus Twitter's own @Cane_alytics said, remembering that bees are dying at an alarming rate. But I wasn't sad! I was quite jovial in fact.
Counter-evidence: look at that smile!
And that CanesCast interview with Williams? It turned out wonderfully. Have a listen.
I recently got around to finally seeing "Get Out" and loved it. Immensely deserving of all the buzz around it. Ditto for "Moonlight." (Notice a trend here - I'm late to all the Oscar movies.) I re-watched "Rogue One" and "Interstellar" recently. Also really good. I'm really looking forward to "Dunkirk," and "The Big Sick" is also on my radar.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you'd like answered or you have a film recommendation, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.