“You gotta’ keep goin,” Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters said.
“We’ve got a day off tomorrow (Sunday), and we had a good day in here today. Pete Friesen ran through some good off-ice and then we split our group in two to have manageable numbers, and they worked hard and did a good job. I like our work ethic. Our work ethic is not to be questioned. Now we just gotta’ start executing with the puck and playing consistently.”
As the first group stepped onto the ice, Carolina announced its next round of cuts from camp with the assignment of nine players to its American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate club, the Charlotte Checkers.
“We had to get down (in numbers) because we’ve got internal competition,” Peters said.
“With Staal’s injury, we’ve got actual big-time competition to see who’s gonna’ play those minutes. On the back end, with eight NHL D-men and some young guys in our system that we wanna’ look at – those eight guys gotta’ get it figured out. They gotta’ make it hard on us to make a decision, but ultimately they’ll make the decision for us by the way they play. They’re diggin’ in, they’re all preparing properly.”
Down to 36 players, which included the addition of Chad LaRose who was provided a professional tryout with the team, Peters looks forward to eventually getting to work with a smaller number in preparation for the season.
“Instead of 36, you’ve got 18 and you can remember more specific plays on who made good plays and who made bad plays,” he continued.
“When it’s 36, you’re just tryin’ to get ‘em goin’ so they ‘re not standin’ around.”
Peters wasn’t sure if further cuts would come during the week considering the team has back-to-back exhibition games on the road against St. Louis and Columbus on Tuesday and Wednesday, before returning home to host Buffalo on Friday.
“We’ve got lots of guys – we’ve got everybody that’s here playin’ I believe,” Peters said.
“I looked at it here quick last night, obviously I’ve gotta’ look at it again here today, now that things are a little clearer with some guys bein’ reassigned. We wanna’ get everybody in. The original thought was in St. Louis play three veteran D with three young guys and then when we go to Columbus, play the other three veteran D with three young guys again. We wanna’ get everybody a good look next week and completing the evaluation process.”
Just over a week into his first training camp, the end of the practice brought with it an intentionally placed day of rest to recover and reenergize following three preseason games and a structured scrimmage for the coaching staff and players.
“I want them to enjoy themselves, and their families,” Peters said.
“The reason you take a day off in this business is that we’ll be able to come back twice as hard the next day. We’ll reenergize, enjoy the day with family and friends, and come back to work and have lots of energy Monday morning.”