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Tweetmail No. 207: Reinforcements, Svechnikov & Dads

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

CHICAGO - Hello and welcome to Tweetmail, a weekly feature on 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.

Tweet from @Canesfan2006: Do you think that there will be any call up from @CheckersHockey given the core group of players are healthy? Any chance Alex Ned could see some time soon with the team? #Tweetmail

I think some shake-ups could be on the way. Phil Di Giuseppe was sent to Charlotte prior to the start of this trip, and I would imagine he would be the first to get the call-up, if that's the case. Clark Bishop also saw some time with the big club this season before he was swapped out for Nicolas Roy. There are also guys like Andrew Poturalski and Janne Kuokkanen who have put up solid numbers for the Checkers so far this season and helped that club jump out to its best start in franchise history.

So, there are definitely options, but it's going to be about what is the best fit for this club right now.

As far as Alex Nedeljkovic, I don't see him being recalled any time soon, especially with the Hurricanes carrying three goaltenders on their roster right now. Nedeljkovic, with his 8-1 record, 2.34 goals-against average and .911 save percentage, has certainly been a key player for the Checkers this season, and that's great news for his development. What's important for him right now, though, is that he keeps playing. He's going to do that with the Checkers, and it wouldn't make sense for him to become a fourth goaltender with the Hurricanes right now.

"We're real happy with Ned's play down in Charlotte," President and General Manager Don Waddell said over the weekend. "He's off to a tremendous start, but right now, we need him to be playing hockey games. That's what he's doing."

Tweet from @Tom_Hannigan237: While I 100% understand Coach Brind���Amour���s belief on not swapping lines while they are effective (even if not scoring) what might force his hand on going plug-n-play to generate wins? This of course assumes he holds steady with lines tonight in STL

I gave some thought to a similar question last week and wondered if line changes might happen as soon as the weekend on the Canes' first two games of their four-game road trip.

Indeed, that was the case, as Rod Brind'Amour and the coaching staff juggled the line combinations after a disastrous first period in Arizona on Friday night. Those changes, slight as they may have been, were enough of a spark that the Hurricanes were able to fight their way back in the game to earn a point. We saw the same lines roll out in Vegas the next night, but the team came up empty on offense for the first time this season. So, the lines reverted back to what had seen the most success for Tuesday night's game in St. Louis.

That didn't really work, either, though. So, what now?

I could see more tweaks and changes ahead, especially if the Hurricanes swap a player or two with Charlotte. Something has to happen to kick start this offense, and maybe moving some pieces around will help provide answers.

What are your thoughts on Svechnikov so far? - @caneshead

I think Andrei Svechnikov is has gotten better over the course of his first 15 games in the NHL, and I think he's only going to continue to improve as the season moves along and as he learns what he has to do to become a good professional in this league.

What we have to remember is that he's just 18 years old, and he's stepping into the best hockey league in the world. It's OK that he didn't set the league ablaze in the first month. It's OK that it's going to take some time for him to get a feel for things, both with and without the puck. All of this is to be expected from a young rookie.

Video: CAR@ARI: Svechnikov redirects home Slavin's shot

What's encouraging is that he has shown steady signs of improvement, and as he's done so, he's been rewarded by the coaching staff with increased ice time. In the last three games, Svechnikov has logged 16:36, 16:18 and 15:48 of ice time, three of his four highest totals this season. He's been seeing some time on the Canes' power play, something that's also going to grow as the season moves along. And, his third goal of the season aided the comeback in Arizona.

"You can see his ability when he's got the puck. He can make plays, and he's going to score goals," Waddell said. "He's the kind of guys who is going to get better as the season progresses and as he earns more ice time."

Tweet from @Bass8151: Out of the dad jokes series put on by the @NHLCanes who has been your favorite dad joker so far?

We all could use a laugh right now.

Dad Jokes is one of my new favorite in-game segments that CanesVision debuted this season. So far, we've seen Jaccob Slavin vs. Brett Pesce and Justin Williams vs. Jordan Staal.

It should come as no surprise that my favorite dad joker of the bunch is an actual dad: Jordan Staal. "It's all about delivery," he mused when he finally got Williams to laugh. Another good line from the segment: "Well done. You are a dad," Staal said when Williams knew the punchline to one of the jokes.

Video: Dad Jokes: Williams vs. Staal

Tweet from @EricFerreri: @MSmithCanes For the next #tweetmail, please let us know when the inevitable plckup truck feature will air.

This question is a couple weeks old, but I had to wait on this perfectly-timed "Ask the Canes" in-game segment: sports car or truck?

Video: Ask the Canes: Sportscar or truck?

There's a good sampling of who identifies most with trucks.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes, or you can drop me an email.

And, perhaps you're interested in scoring discounted tickets to see the Hurricanes play while also helping your local community. Great news! You can accomplish both of these things through our Tickets for Turkeys program. For every four tickets purchased through this program, the Canes will be donating a turkey to a family in need this Thanksgiving. And, you'll save more than 50 percent on tickets for two weekend home games. Click here and enter promo code SMITH to take advantage of this offer.

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