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colliefan

Training Camp 2010

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O'Sullivan is a winger. So I would like to see a little Jokinen-Staal-O'Sullivan in the preseason. See Rem, it works out...you know, that winger to play with Staal dream you keep having. :twilight-zone:

I share your enthusiasm, we really have some depth on the O side.

My bad. I took one of those nervous pills and couldn't think straight.

In all seriousness, this is the kind of thing I was hoping for. A guy with top line potential who fell on hard times and slipped up, thus becoming available. They get a change of scenery and get back on track. His juniors career and his first couple of years in the league would have predicted fist line potential. Can he find that potential quickly and at least back check a little? If so....well we just have so many guys now with something to prove it's like the final episodes of America's Got Talent.

A quick question to those who have followed him. Why did LA trade a guy with so much ability?

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A quick question to those who have followed him. Why did LA trade a guy with so much ability?

My guess is that they had a over abundance of young players and lacked many vets. He was probably traded because he was a wanted on another team and the only way the kings could get Williams was to trade Sully.

Edited by Ichigo-1

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My guess is that they had a over abundance of young players and lacked many vets. He was probably traded because he was a wanted on another team and the only way the kings could get Williams was to trade him.

And we wanted Cole (edit.... I forgot to...sigh)

Edited by coastal_caniac

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There was a little hitting going on out there today in the Group B (more vets) practice. Babchuk laid out the Juice with a nice hip check, and Gleason did the same in the same drill to someone else. I thought it was a pretty intense practice, which lasted about an hour and a half. Lots of sprint skating at the end. Everyone looked to be in good shape. A few that stood out to me were Rosey and Dwyer. Both those guys were really husting out there. Didn't see Sammy, maybe he's hurt or something. Boychuk was ho-hum. I thought Bowman looked better. Babchuk couldn't hit the broad side of a barn today.

What I will say about the Group A practice is that Skinner is all kinds of good. He is one tenacious guy going after the puck and going to the net when he has it. Dalpe wasn't far behind either. Also was impressed with Kennedy. And you got to see those d-men we have drafted over the last couple of years. There are some biguns out there.

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Coastal, Thanks for your impressions of the first day of training camp. I was hoping someone who had attended would post. From what you said it appears we are in shape and going into camp with a little attitude. Did Skinner really look that good?

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How did O'Sullivan look? Anyone care to comment? I've been a fan of his for quite a while [don't believe everything Edmonton fans have to say about the guy, there's a lot more good than bad in his game].

My thoughts on OS were that you could tell he was just trying to get through the first day being the newest Cane on a team with some open spots. What I did see that impressed me were his hands around the net. He's got a real sneaky shot. Other than that, he worked hard like everyone out there.

Coastal, Thanks for your impressions of the first day of training camp. I was hoping someone who had attended would post. From what you said it appears we are in shape and going into camp with a little attitude. Did Skinner really look that good?

It was the first time I've seen Skinner in person, and Yes. He is just tenacious to the puck, with or without it. Not fast, but real solid on his skates. I can see how he scored those goals from just about anywhere on the ice.

It was obvious to me this will not be a fun camp for those guys. It was fast, fast, fast out their today with alot of sprint training. Most of the young guys tongues were hanging out by the end, the vets seemed to be more ready and in better shape.

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Went to the morning practice today. A couple of guys need to work on their passing/puck handling skills, although it looked like the ice was not in great condition either.

I'm with Coastal on Skinner, that kid scores like it's just natural to him. Also just have to add, during the shoot-outs, Michal Jordan scored, and I was so tempted to yell "His Iceness scores".

3 of the ads on the ice I understand, REX, Click it or Ticket, and Chevy. Unless it has something to do with the ASG, I'm curious as to how Air Canada got a spot.

Edited by captain_jack88

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don't the Canes charter their flights through Air Canada?

Yes, they started using them last year when Pace finally died.

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My thoughts on OS were that you could tell he was just trying to get through the first day being the newest Cane on a team with some open spots. What I did see that impressed me were his hands around the net. He's got a real sneaky shot. Other than that, he worked hard like everyone out there.

I will second that. O'Sullivan found the back of the net at least 5 times in a practice where the goalies stopped most shots. He also had a nice assist to Bowman. I know it's just practice, and the key issue for O'Sullivan is probably effort and back checking, but it was clear he has the skills.

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There was a little hitting going on out there today in the Group B (more vets) practice. Babchuk laid out the Juice with a nice hip check, and Gleason did the same in the same drill to someone else. I thought it was a pretty intense practice, which lasted about an hour and a half. Lots of sprint skating at the end. Everyone looked to be in good shape. A few that stood out to me were Rosey and Dwyer. Both those guys were really husting out there. Didn't see Sammy, maybe he's hurt or something. Boychuk was ho-hum. I thought Bowman looked better. Babchuk couldn't hit the broad side of a barn today.

I only saw group B, but was surprised about the hitting. Boychuk got rubbed out hard and was a bit slow to get up. I don't go to many practices, so I'm not sure if that is common, or a way to say, "better be ready this year boys", or to get the fans into it. That and the shootouts were definitely fan favorites.

Babchuk seemed to handle the puck a little better. But that could be wishful thinking.

Wondered about Sammy's absence also.

Rosey has the skills and always brings the effort. I think he'll push 20 goals again.

As I mentioned in my other post O'Sullivan looked quite skilled.

I missed the talk to the players/coach part. Anything of interest there?

Edited by remkin

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Branecky mentioned in his write-up that Sammy had a "minor training injury" and could skate as soon as today. Tlusty, maybe starting next week.

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I've long wondered about the "injection of youth" effect in hockey. Hockey has to be the most intense effort driven team sport in existence. We've seen the effect of bringing up some young guys in the second half of the season over and over here in Carolina. What I've wondered about is if that effect is largely because these guys bring that energy late in a grueling season and the vets on other teams are a bit tired.

This year we should have a great chance to see this effect from the start. Guys like Cole and Sammy, and even LaRose and others cannot just rest assured, they have to bring it, or the next guy will. This competitive preseason with 8 guys having a straight up legitimate shot at 3 jobs, and the hard practices and a lot more preseason games, could make us highly competitive right out of the box.

If that happens these guys could really surprise a few teams early. Given our brutal opening schedule, just a few surprise wins would set us up well for a great November run.

It could happen.

Then the issue would be how to sustain that intensity through most of the year. Maybe the fact that so many guys could be sent down/brought up will provide that motivation.

Just finding more ways to get excited as the season nears. Is it Tuesday yet?

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Nice write up in the N & O about Mike McKenzie: Canes Now Blog

Mike McKenzie has been around the NHL for many of his 24 years, but never quite like this.

Today, he was on the RBC Center ice with the Canes' Eric Staal, Chad LaRose and Joni Pitkanen in a training camp workout. Wearing No. 61, he was getting some tips from associate head coach Ron Francis, a Hall of Famer.

McKenzie is one of the unexpected invitees to the Canes' training camp. The forward earned it with his hustle and strong play in the recent Traverse City (Mich.) prospects tournament, and could begin the season with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.

"It's obviously a pretty good opportunity for a guy like myself, who wasn't drafted," McKenzie said. "I wasn't expecting to be here, nd it's just a thrill to be here and skate with all the veteran guys and get my first taste of what an NHL training camp is like and get my feet wet a little.

Full article here

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Alright, here's a probably ridiculous question, but with all of these prospects, invitees and left over River Rats, are there enough spaces in Charlotte for all of them? I know we lost a bunch of guys, so I'm assuming there is, but just wondering if there are guys in danger of not making the Checkers.

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Just throwing this out there based upon the prospects tournament, training camp and the first preseason game. My depth chart would be as follows and some random thoughts:

Center

Staal, Sutter, Dalpe, Dwyer, Skinner.

Staal and Sutter are set as number one and two down the middle. Skinner is 18, looks to be terrible at faceoffs, and was knocked off the puck a little too much for my liking in the first game. Dalpe is bigger, faster, appears to be fairly good in the circle, and has more of a complete game at this time. Although he doesn't possess the offensive skills as some of the other prospects at center, Dwyer is reliable, kills penalities, and has more experience. Skinner can always go back to Juniors.

Left Wing

Jokinen, O'Sullivan, Samsonov, Bowman, Boychuk, Tlusty. Jokinen is a lock in the top-6. O'Sullivan has all the skills, but he needs to be surrounded with top-6 talent. I want to see him play with Staal at some point in the preseason. I have Samsonov over Bowman and Boychuk, but this could change. Bowman is making a case for himself over Boychuk. Boychuk needs to show me more. Tlusty is coming off a knee injury.

Right Wing

Ruutu, Larose, Cole, Nonstopolous. I think Ruutu and Nonstopolous are locks to start the season on the top and fourth lines, respectively. I think right now, Larose brings more than Cole. But, take your pick there. If Cole can ever stay healthy he can be a force, but I'm not betting on it.

Defensive Pairings

1st Pairing: A lock, Gleason and Corvo.

2nd Pairing: Pitkanen a lock. I think he plays with Babchuk but the sooner we get those two together the better.

3rd Pairing: McBain and anybody not named Harrison. I have Carson here and he hasn't played a game yet, but from what I saw at camp, he looks bigger and stronger. Why did we let him go in the first place? Take your pick from Rodney or Borer for depth, neither will make the big club out of camp unless we decide to dress 8 defensman.

Goal: Ward, Peters, Murphy.

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Defensive Pairings

2nd Pairing: Pitkanen a lock. I think he plays with Babchuk but the sooner we get those two together the better.

That right there makes me very nervous, but I'll keep my mind open.

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That right there makes me very nervous, but I'll keep my mind open.

I think it can click, but that's why I want to see them together sooner than later. And by the way what are our choices? Our depth at defense includes, Gleason-Corvo-Pitkanen, McBain, Babchuk, Harrison, Carson, Sanguinetti, Rodney and Borer. Does Sanguinetti hit anybody? That was the knock on him in NY.

And why put Babchuks shot down in the third pairing with third pairing minutes? It's worth a look to see if Pits-Babs can make a go of it.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I think it can click, but that's why I want to see them together sooner than later. And by the way what are our choices? Our depth at defense includes, Gleason-Corvo-Pitkanen, McBain, Babchuk, Harrison, Carson, Sanguinetti, Rodney and Borer. Does Sanguinetti hit anybody? That was the knock on him in NY.

And why put Babchuks shot down in the third pairing with third pairing minutes? It's worth a look to see if Pits-Babs can make a go of it.

I think that they are going to try Pitkanen-Babchuk. But as Pitkanen in a minute gobler, they'll probably mix in some Pitkanen-name your guy. If McBain is as good as he was last year, he will eventually find his way into the top 4 and barring injury, Babs will be the odd man out. Bear in mind that Babs can still be on a powerplay unit to get that shot off a few more times.

Babs got beat so bad last night (one time), that it had to be just a mental error. We'll see if it keeps happening. If it does, then I would look for him to drop into the last pairing with Carson/Harrison. But Babs was decent for the rest of the night last night and McBain had an off game too. My guess is that they want to take the pressure off McBain and unless he just breaks out in the pre-season, they'd like to start him in the bottom pairing and let him work his way up. Either way McBain and Pits both see a lot of powerplay time.

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Last night, and based om comments from Rutherford, Skinner won't be playing center for the Canes. The kid will be on wing...it's a simple as that. I'm not entirely sure why he was at center last night. But it's obviously not the position he'll be playing in two weeks.

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After a practice and one preseason game I am convinced that O'Sullivan is making this team out of camp and will be on one of top two lines. All of the talk seems to be about Skinner at least getting his 10 game tryout. That does not leave many spots for anyone else. To me this presses a Cole or Sammy trade, but it is hard to see that happening early. The only way Cole gets traded is if he breaks out good, but then why trade him? Now if Sammy breaks out good, they might still trade him since he runs so hot and cold and we have so many waiting in the wings. Anyway, if Cole and Sammy stay and O'Sullivan and Skinner make the team you have:

Jokinen-Staal-Ruutu

O'Sullivan-Sutter-LaRose

Tlusty/Boychuk/Bowman-Skinner-Cole

Sammy-Dwyer-Kosto

Boychuk has to show more to get that spot. Tlusty would be the natural, since he's on a one way, but the knee..... Bowman looked pretty good last night.

But my point is this: That line up only has 2 slots for any level of prospects, and it has either Sammy or Tlusty/Boychuk/Bowman on the 4th line. Further, it only has one spot for guys who have tasted the NHL. At some point there needs to be a trade. If for no other reason than to open up at least one more slot for prospects to get up here. Now as much as I've grown to appreciate Nash and Dalpe, spending most of their time in the AHL is not that big a deal for this year. (Then again, if Skinner is kept at center we have no room for either of them at center for the foreseeable future). But Tlusty/Bowman/Boychuk need to get some real NHL time this year.

Now at the end of the day Skinner might do his 10 games and go back to juniors allowing Nash/Dalpe a shot, and their will be injuries. Further, I actually kind of like those line ups. Further I am all kinds of excited about O'Sullivan, but he does take up a spot that will ultimately relegate a prospect back to the Checkers. It is ultimately a good problem to have, and Cole and Sammy are all but gone next year, opening at least two slots, but we have a LOT of prospects knocking on a couple of doors.

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I think that they are going to try Pitkanen-Babchuk. But as Pitkanen in a minute gobler, they'll probably mix in some Pitkanen-name your guy. If McBain is as good as he was last year, he will eventually find his way into the top 4 and barring injury, Babs will be the odd man out. Bear in mind that Babs can still be on a powerplay unit to get that shot off a few more times.

Babs got beat so bad last night (one time), that it had to be just a mental error. We'll see if it keeps happening. If it does, then I would look for him to drop into the last pairing with Carson/Harrison. But Babs was decent for the rest of the night last night and McBain had an off game too. My guess is that they want to take the pressure off McBain and unless he just breaks out in the pre-season, they'd like to start him in the bottom pairing and let him work his way up. Either way McBain and Pits both see a lot of powerplay time.

I'll wait and see but don't be surprised to see Pits and Babs together real soon. BTW, these aren't lineups, only depth charts.

Last night, and based om comments from Rutherford, Skinner won't be playing center for the Canes. The kid will be on wing...it's a simple as that. I'm not entirely sure why he was at center last night. But it's obviously not the position he'll be playing in two weeks.

My impression was he would play wing as well. But he's been at center at the prospects tournament, training camp and last night. That's why I had him at center on my depth chart at this time. Post up those Rutherford comments please.

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Last night, and based om comments from Rutherford, Skinner won't be playing center for the Canes. The kid will be on wing...it's a simple as that. I'm not entirely sure why he was at center last night. But it's obviously not the position he'll be playing in two weeks.

If that is true it creates an even bigger log jam at wing.

If we go with:

Ruutu/Jokinen

LaRose/O'Sullivan

Skinner/Cole

Kosto/Sammy

Then there is no room for Tlusty (on a one way), Boychuk, Bowman, Samson.

I know O'Sullivan is an assumption, but that man is making this team.

I guess Tlusty can work in with his knee while the Cane figure out what to do with Skinner, but even that leaves Sammy on the 4th line. Someone needs to get traded if Skinner sticks.

I'll wait and see but don't be surprised to see Pits and Babs together real soon. BTW, these aren't lineups, only depth charts.

I was actually agreeing with you on that. It worked some last year to have Pits-Babs and I really think they want to take the pressure off of McBain. I think as the year goes on, McBain gets a look with Pits also.

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Chip's tweet:

"Word is O'Sullivan, Dalpe, Bowman, Sanguinetti all helped themselves in preseason opener. Some others disappointed".9 minutes ago via web

I did not really notice Sagnuinetti, but definitely agree with the others. I think Boychuk disappointed, but who else?

Edited by remkin

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