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Tweetmail No. 2: Olympics, Charlotte & Czech Cinema

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 2:00 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Tweetmail No. 2: Olympics, Charlotte & Czech Cinema
Michael Smith
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Hello, and welcome to a new (as of last week) feature on where I take your Twitter questions and answer them in mailbag form. You may recall that I used to answer questions on Twitter each Friday. Same idea here, but with two differences: it’s on Wednesdays, and I get more than 140 characters to work with, which will hopefully provide you with more insight.

Let’s get to it.

Hey, Mike! For the players that didn't go to Sochi, how are they spending the break? – KP Kelly (@CardiacCaneKP)

The Olympic break officially began for the NHL on Sunday, Feb. 9, and much of the team scattered in various directions across the globe, whether it was to where they call home or a warmer climate, just in time to avoid another winter storm in the Triangle.

In a smattering of examples of where the Canes who aren’t in Sochi are spending their time off: Jiri Tlusty went to Cancun. Radek Dvorak said he was going to Florida to spend time with family. Elias Lindholm said he might travel back home to Sweden for a week. Head coach Kirk Muller was heading to the British Virgin Islands. Ryan Murphy is spending break with the Charlotte Checkers.

Technically, the NHL’s Olympic break lasts through Monday, Feb. 24, ending in time for the Hurricanes to travel to Buffalo for their blizzard-postponed match-up. But the players and coaches will be back in town in time for practices, which begin on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Raleigh Center Ice (full, regularly-updated schedule). Currently, the Canes have four full days of practice scheduled, including one on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Fort Bragg, before Monday’s skate-and-fly day.

Prior to the break, the Hurricanes mapped out what they plan to address on those practice days, a crash-course training camp of sorts. Think of the abbreviated training camp held after last season’s work stoppage: the Canes – and every other team – are going to have to go from zero to 60 in just a few days.

“We’re treating it when we get back like a training camp,” Muller said before the break. “We’ve got it pretty much labeled what we want to work on when we get back.

“Everyone has to stay in pretty good shape and be ready to practice right from day one because we really have just a few practices before we play Buffalo.”

The trip to Buffalo kicks off a season-long five-game road swing that will then take the Hurricanes through Dallas and California, spelling a crucial period before the March 5 trade deadline.

“With the schedule we’re going to have, no question,” Muller said. “When it starts, you’ve got to be ready to go.”

“That’s going to be a big 10 days for many reasons. One, we’ll need to see where the team is when we get to the trade deadline,” said Canes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. “Coming back off the Olympics and going to play some road games … is not all bad. That’s a time where the guys … can get out on the road and get that chemistry and bonding going. That’s OK.”

Can you talk about the travel schedules of our four Olympians after Friday night’s game? – Fred B. (@fredbekker06)

Sure can, Fred.

The NHL and NHLPA had four charter flights leaving the United States on Sunday, including three from Newark, NJ and one from Atlanta. Three of the Hurricanes’ Olympians – Faulk, Sekera and Ruutu – flew out of Atlanta, and Semin left via New Jersey.

Immediately following Saturday’s game against Montreal, bags were packed for departure. Equipment manager Bob Gorman helped Justin Faulk run down a checklist of necessary items, pictured here.

Will the Hurricanes play a regular season game in Charlotte? – Thomas O. (@B_Low_)

This question has a complicated answer, one that probably doesn’t fit in this space, let alone 140 characters on Twitter. Essentially, all options are on the table for the Hurricanes when considering Charlotte, whether it’s a regular season game, a preseason game or even a Red-White scrimmage. As it stands now, however, there are no plans in the immediate future.

Meanwhile, the reverse – the Checkers coming to Raleigh – is happening for the second straight year. The Checkers will host the Abbotsford Heat at PNC Arena on Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m., and tickets for both games start at just $15.

Paul Branecky made a triumphant return to on Tuesday, penning a preview of the weekend slate of games.

Wait, what? Jiri Tlusty is in a movie? Explain please. – Jamie K. (@jbk_ltd)

Yes. Yes, he is.

Tlusty broke (as far as I know) the news to Shane Willis in the CanesVision in-game feature “Loungin’ with Shane” earlier this season, which can be seen here. The relevant segment begins around the 1:20 mark.

“I tried to be an actor this summer,” Tlusty told Willis with a sheepish grin. “It was a great experience. It’s not easy being an actor.”

On Tuesday, former Hurricane and Stanley Cup Champion Mike Commodore (Twitter) stumbled across said movie entitled “Babovresky 2,” which had Tlusty’s face (among other Czech NHL players) and Hurricanes sweaters plastered on a poster. The sequel to what Tlusty said was one of the most popular Czech movies of 2013 premieres in February.

The official trailer for the zany-looking flick, which Commodore said is being released on the same screens as Hollywood blockbusters, is below.

Tlusty just missed Oscar season.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81