The New Defense: Part Three
Everything you read in part two of this series about having too many defensemen is all fine and good, except for one problem that has bitten the Canes especially hard in the last few seasons – injuries. And the flu, but let’s not revisit that mess anymore than we have to.
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While it’s basically guaranteed that at least one of the defensemen currently on the Canes' roster will have to miss at least a little bit of time, there’s a reason that extra NHL defenseman is expendable.
That reason is the presence of quality options in
”Those guys are really just a step away from playing with the Hurricanes,” said Canes GM Jim Rutherford. “Their development has come on nice, and if one of them had an exceptional camp and deserved to be on the team, we’d figure out a way to get them there. But realistically, another year in
Also see: Developing the Defense (926/07)
”For a big guy you’ve still got to be quick out there, so the best way was to drop weight,” said Carson, who along with Borer came down to Raleigh early to participate in Rod Brind’Amour’s informal team skates. “They told me to drop a little, come down here and work with [Head Trainer] Pete [Friesen] to get my body fat down and my endurance up.”
So far, that seems to be paying off.
“Early indications are that he really paid attention to his fitness this summer, and he’s coming into camp a lot lighter and in a lot better condition, and hopefully that will translate into a good camp for him,” said Assistant GM and Director of Player Development Ron Francis.
While Borer and Carson are likely the top two candidates to be called up right now, there is an interesting dark horse candidate in Bryan Rodney. Undrafted, unknown and discovered mostly by accident, the Canes are planning to watch him closely in camp.
An offensive defenseman who put up a team-leading six points in
He was among the seven players temporarily loaned to
”Rodney did some really good things down there, so it will be interesting to see how he stacks up at this level,” said Francis.