Quick Notes : Carolina Hurricanes
Season opener versus the Minnesota Wild kicks off October 7th in Helsinki Finland, home of 'Canes stars Joni Pitkanen, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu. For Ruutu and Pitkanen this is especially meaningful as they won Bronze medals representing Finland last year in Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Olympics. No idea why the Juice didn't make the team, but thats an issue for another day.
Carolina will start the season without their Russian winger Sergei Samsonov as he was put on Injury Reserve earlier this week. Samsonov injured his neck (sprain) in a pre-season game and will not be making the trip to Europe with the team. Depending on how long this injury keeps him out, expect to see the name Zack Boychuk come up a few times.
Expect to see Jiri Tlusty in the lineup in Helsinki. Returning from off-season knee surgery. This guy has a lot to prove if you ask me.
The pressure's on for Carolina veterans Eric Cole, Chad Larose and Joe Corvo. With Ray Whitney being shipped out to Phoenix, the youth in Carolina will be looking to these guys for some much needed leadership.
Patrick O' Sullivan gets a fresh start in Carolina this season. Coming here from a deal with Edmonton, he looks to bounce back from an under achieving season he had with the Oilers last year. I have a good feeling about this guy and find that he got an unfair review from Edmonton management.
Hurricanes need to stay healthy this year. Last season was hard on fans as we watched each star, on a rotation, get injured. If Cam Ward can avoid injury, and with the development of young players like Brandon Sutter and Jeff Skinner, the Hurricanes get my vote as the most under-rated team in the Eastern Conference. Only time will tell.
"It's a Caniac thing"