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Tweetmail No. 234: Rotation, Injured Reserve & All-Star

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Hello and welcome to Tweetmail, a weekly feature on Hurricanes.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.

Full disclosure: This was indeed supposed to be a special Dougie Hamilton All-Star edition of Tweetmail, but for obvious reasons, we're going to have to put that on hold for a bit.

Let's get to it.

With Williams' return, do you see a long-term healthy scratch or a rotation through the fourth line as being more likely long term? - @AddieCSmith

With Justin Williams back in the lineup - and what a return it has been! - the Hurricanes now have 13 healthy forwards on the roster. As long as the team remains healthy (knock on wood), head coach Rod Brind'Amour said his staff will employ a rotation of forwards who come out of the lineup.

Jordan Martinook was a healthy scratch on Sunday.

"I had to take Marty out because just because," Brind'Amour explained.

Erik Haula was a healthy scratch on Tuesday.

"No different than Martinook the night before," Brind'Amour said. "It's tough for me to make those decisions."

That's a good thing, in a sense. The Canes have 13 healthy forwards who can each contribute on a nightly basis. It ideally *should* be a hard decision on Brind'Amour. That means there is real competition and depth, both aspects of a team poised for a playoff run.

So, you'll continue to see a rotation of forwards coming out of the lineup for the foreseeable future. 

"I don't want it to be an easy decision. I have 13 forwards I want to play. I can't do it," Brind'Amour said. "You'll see different guys going in and out all the time as long as we're healthy."

How does IR and LTIR work with the salary cap? Seems Haula was out for a while and IR wasn't used, but was for Martinook and van Riemsdyk it was. Currently don't see Dougie listed on IR. How does the team decide who to put on IR and when? - @Archerforchange

This got lost in the game shuffle on Tuesday, but the Hurricanes have placed Dougie Hamilton on injured reserve. This is a simple roster designation, which frees up a spot on the Canes' 23-man active roster (though, they haven't carried the max yet this season).

"We're counting that he's done for the year. That's kind of how we're looking at it," Brind'Amour said before the game on Tuesday. "If something changes, that'd be great, but we're not counting on it."

LTIR - or, more accurately, a long-term injury exception to the upper limit - could come into play should the Canes spend to the upper limit of the salary cap. Right now, they're still a skosh off the top of the cap, but that could change with a recall or a trade. Employing LTIR with Hamilton would give the Canes some spending flexibility that they aren't otherwise afforded with injured reserve.

What channels will carry the NHL All-Star events this weekend? - @caniac47

NHL All-Star Skills, set for Friday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. ET, will be broadcast on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

The NHL All-Star Game, set for Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET, will be broadcast on NBC in the U.S. and CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

And, of course, we'll have you covered all weekend long from St. Louis!

If Carolina traded for the Islanders' Sebastian Aho, how would the jerseys be differentiated? - @TylerPunllock

"There can be only one!"

I suppose in this unique, hypothetical case they'd each just have "Aho" on the back of their sweaters, the differentiator being their numbers.

Who was better: Sadgasm or The Be Sharps? - @RealChrisCote

I think I'm more a fan of The Beets.

How much will @Section_328 be missed on the official team side? - @wluper

It's news I honestly didn't expect to read, and that's a testament to how they have ingrained themselves in this fanbase. 

I've read both farewell posts, and I've just been able to dive into the final pod (which features my good friend and podcast co-host, Mike Maniscalco). It's all a fitting au revoir, a bow on all they've contributed to this growing, passionate fanbase over the last eight years.

I will certainly miss the digital presence of @Section_328 (and will always remember to respect the underscore), but I'm glad the personalities and good folks behind it aren't going anywhere. I heard them loud and clear on Tuesday night, just as it has been as long as I can remember and just as it will continue to be.

Does the Canes staff get the same break as the players? Also, the following Tweetmail can we get "What I did on my winter break" from some of the players that are willing to share? - @HHandorf

The office at 1400 Edwards Mill Rd. doesn't officially shut down; after all, there's still work to be done. But, I'll be taking advantage of the down time after All-Star Weekend to cruise down to the Bahamas, the perfect opportunity to relax and unplug for a bit before jumping right back into it.

Video: In the Room: Brind'Amour Postgame vs WPG

Good idea for the next edition of Tweetmail, too! I'll see if we can make it happen.

***

Join me in February for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered or you're just bummed about the lack of Hamailton (me too), you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes, or you can drop me an email.

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