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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Kaberle, Seidenberg Looking Strong

Wednesday, 10.01.2008 / 4:16 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Kaberle, Seidenberg Looking Strong

In a camp where five defensemen are competing for three open spots behind Joe Corvo, Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen in the Canes’ top six, it appears that Frantisek Kaberle and Dennis Seidenberg have put themselves on the inside track to claim two of them.

Paul Branecky
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Both players are having excellent training camps so far and have been used together on the point in the Canes’ second power play unit at this week’s practices.  They will also play together in Thursday night’s exhibition game in Nashville.

Kaberle, whose name has been mentioned in trade rumors ever since GM Jim Rutherford indicated he wants to trade a defenseman, has looked good enough in exhibition games that he may not only stay, but play a prominent role as well.

“I’m very pleased with Frank Kaberle’s camp,” said Rutherford.  “He’s the guy that heard the most rumors about being the odd guy out, but in fairness to him this is the first training camp he has been healthy since we won the Cup.  He’s back to where he was in ’06 when he was really good for us,” added Rutherford.

“I think that Frank has been one of our top defensemen in camp,” said coach Peter Laviolette.  “He came off a year where he was banged up a little bit and never felt 100 percent.  He had an opportunity, and he came to camp in great shape.  It’s been hard not to notice him in a positive way on the ice.  He’s played very well so far.”

Kaberle himself admits to not feeling like himself ever since he underwent shoulder surgery after the Canes’ Stanley Cup victory in the 2006.  He played just 27 games the following season and saw his offensive numbers dip significantly last season from the 44 he scored in 2005-06.

“The last couple of years it’s been tough with my injuries,” said Kaberle.  “With my strength, it wasn’t even close to what I’m at now.  It’s a big difference.”

While Kaberle’s impressive camp has surprised many, Rutherford said he expected Seidenberg to make a serious run at the top six from the beginning.  Although Seidenberg has been a healthy scratch 27 times since joining the team as the seventh defenseman in January of 2007, he’ll get his opportunity now that Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican have gone.

“I would say he had one of those spots coming in, and you just watch for a guy like that to see where he’s at,” said Rutherford.  “He’s come in and he was ready to play as he always is and he’s played really well.  He can skate, move the puck and he can be physical.”

“Last year I wanted to be in the top six and I think I played well when I was in the lineup,” said Seidenberg.  “I just have to stay healthy now and be consistent night in and night out.  With those two guys gone, I think it’s definitely a chance for me to step up and grab a regular spot.”

If Kaberle and Seidenberg are indeed leading the pack of players for a regular spot in the Hurricanes’ lineup, and it seems that they are, that leaves Niclas Wallin, Anton Babchuk and Josef Melichar to compete for the sixth and seventh spots.  With Babchuk and Wallin both missing significant time due to injury so far, who leads that race remains to be seen.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 60 11 28 -14 39
E. Staal 55 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 59 11 16 -15 27
J. Skinner 55 16 9 -15 25
R. Nash 57 7 15 -8 22
N. Gerbe 56 7 14 -11 21
V. Rask 58 8 11 -16 19
J. McClement 60 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 24 4 11 -1 15
A. Semin 36 2 12 -8 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60