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First Day of Informal Skates Marks Unofficial Start of Hockey Season

Tuesday, 09.4.2012 / 2:58 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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First Day of Informal Skates Marks Unofficial Start of Hockey Season
Even with nothing guaranteed, it’s beginning to feel a lot like hockey season.

Michael Smith
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Tuesday marked the first day of informal skates at Raleigh Center Ice, and a group of 16 Hurricanes players participated in the 50-minute, player-organized workout.

Day one attendees included forwards Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Chad LaRose, Jiri Tlusty, Patrick Dwyer, Anthony Stewart, Andreas Nodl, Zac Dalpe and Jared Staal; defensemen Tim Gleason, Jay Harrison, Joe Corvo, Joni Pitkanen and Justin Faulk; and goaltenders Cam Ward and Justin Peters.

LaRose and Harrison seemed to be the vocal leaders for the majority of the skate, which was mainly comprised of skating and conditioning drills. The goal of these early workouts, more than anything, is to regain skating legs and timing.

The first day of informal skates – known as Camp Brind’Amour in the past, and now, perhaps, Camp LaRose – brings together for the first time of the upcoming hockey season a number of players who scatter across the globe for the summer months.

Faulk and Nodl spent the summer in Minnesota. Dwyer in Wisconsin. Harrison, Dalpe and Peters in Ontario. Corvo, right here in Raleigh. And Jordan Staal was all over the place doing, well, “everything” as he said: he had his wedding, he was traded and signed a long-term deal with Carolina, he went to many other weddings, he had his honeymoon, he went house hunting in Raleigh and he took a humanitarian trip to Haiti with former Pittsburgh Penguins teammates. Now, his attention turns back to hockey.

Many players again said their summers were too long. Dalpe played well into May in 2011 with the Charlotte Checkers in their run to the Eastern Conference Final, returning to Raleigh just about three months later. This summer, he was done playing in April, tacking on a couple, more unwelcome months to his offseason.

Listed at 230 pounds last season, Stewart dropped 10 pounds over the summer, fueled in part by his participation at last week's BioSteel Camp. Video from the camp is available here, here, here and here. Stewart is the final season of a two-year contract he signed with the Canes in July 2011.

Ward and Peters were both breaking in new gear. Peters said he likes his pads to be soft, so breaking them in is always a challenge. With Brian Boucher sidelined with a shoulder injury, Peters figures to be Ward’s back-up to begin the season.

With training camp scheduled to begin about a week after the current collective bargaining agreement, some players were unsure about plans in the event of a work stoppage. Whether it’s here or somewhere else, they'll likely continue skating until a deal gets finalized. Corvo said he skated three times a week during the 2004-05 lockout, before joining the Chicago Wolves of the AHL in February.

Informal skates are slated to continue each weekday beginning at 10:30 a.m. at RCI.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 54 14 19 2 33
J. Staal 56 12 21 8 33
J. Skinner 56 19 13 -1 32
K. Versteeg 55 11 21 1 32
E. Staal 56 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 56 8 17 -9 25
A. Nestrasil 49 9 12 1 21
J. Nordstrom 45 5 11 2 16
R. Hainsey 56 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 11 7 .909 2.35
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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