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To skate or not to skate

NHL.com @NHL

"It's a nice way to get ready for the game. Some guys like it, some don’t. But on a regular basis, I think the morning skate is good." -- Radek Dvorak

In a sport full of traditions, one of the NHL’s longest practices is being re-evaluated by some teams.

The morning skate, the tradition of going to the rink on game day mornings and getting players on the ice to skate and shoot, is no longer a must with some teams.

When the Panthers opened the season Friday in Carolina, the Hurricanes worked off ice the morning of the game rather than on ice. Coach Peter Laviolette said, for the time being, he will have his team work off ice rather than skate in the morning. The Devils did the same beginning last November.

For most teams, the morning skate remains a game day tradition. Teams rarely hold mandatory morning skates on the second day of back-to-back games, and, depending on the schedule, many are optional as the season gets more demanding.

But what is best? Skate or not to skate?

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