New and familiar faces, same expectations at Carolina Hurricanes training camp

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
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Peter Koutroumpis (pksport)

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RALEIGH, NC – As times change, and faces too, the song remains the same.

Training camp on-ice sessions for the Carolina Hurricanes began at PNC Arena on Thursday morning.

Two groups, 53 players combined – 47 skaters and 6 goalkeepers – began prepping for another season in search of claiming the National Hockey League’s Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup.

With the Colorado Avalanche currently clutching it tightly, the path meandering through the 82-game 2022-2023 regular season and then the strenuous and subsequent 16 postseason wins required to pull it from their grasp will, as usual, take a Herculean effort.

Mixing it up

There are really good vibes on the ice and in the locker room in Raleighwood.

With seven notable new players, all different than the eight brought in last season, getting on the same page quickly for this new cohort is paramount.

“It’s the nature of the game now, it’s how it goes”, as head coach Brind’Amour put it.

Defenseman Brent Burns, and forwards Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny represent significant adds to a solid core that’s managed to make the postseason for the past four years.

Former Hurricanes Ryan Dzingel and Calvin de Haan (PTO) are back seeking to earn second tours of duty with the club as well.

Moving forward from the back

A second-round exit following a Game  7 loss to the New York Rangers back in May obviously fell short of the mark and is a faded memory of what could have been.

Without Frederik Andersen, goaltender Antti Raanta carried a load that eventually physically overwhelmed him.

But the Jennings Trophy duo are back at it with upstart Pyotr Kochetkov chomping at the bit and ready to get playing time when called up.

Talk the talk, walk the walk

It’s safe to say Brind’Amour is feeling good about this group at such an early stage.

The goal is clear and so is the message.

When the puck drops to begin the season on Oct. 12, it will be time to spread the word league-wide again.

“You wanna be in that conversation,” Brind’Amour said emphatically.

“Listen, if you have the best team in the league every year, it gives you a chance. And we wanna have a chance. I think, pretty safe to say, with the group we have right now, we have a chance. That’s a far cry from those stretches where it was more of a hope. That’s the reality – come to work, do our job – I think we have a chance.”

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