NEWS BY DIVISION
- HPT Blog: Union shies from mediator as talks continue Northeast
- HPT Blog: Union shies from mediator as talks continue Southeast
- HPT Blog: Union shies from mediator as talks continue Central
- HPT Blog: Union shies from mediator as talks continue Northwest
- HPT Blog: Union shies from mediator as talks continue Pacific
- Most potent top line resides in Jersey Atlantic
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|2011 Training Camp Preview: Carolina Hurricanes|
|Written by Blake Benzel|
|Saturday, 20 August 2011 01:21|
• 2010-11 record: 40-31-11; missed playoffs
DID YOU KNOW?
D Tomas Kaberle (four goals, 42 assists) G Brian Boucher (18-10-4, .916, 2.42) LW Anthony Stewart (14 goals, 25 assists) LW Alexei Ponikarovsky (five goals, 15 assists)
RW Erik Cole (26 goals, 26 assists) G Justin Pogge* (22-18-4, .907, 3.12)
*stats compiled in AHL
KEY POSITION BATTLE
With the re-signing of Jussi Jokinen, two-thirds of Carolina's first line is set. The third, who will be replacing departed winger Cole, will likely be decided in camp. Ponikarovsky and Stewart were brought in to push for the job, but it will likely come down to a battle between Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu. With the pressure to make the playoffs looming, don't be surprised if a low-risk, high-reward type tryout offer is given to someone like J-P Dumont to try to push the regulars on the team for the job.
PLAYER ON THE VERGE OF A BREAKOUT SEASON
Brandon Sutter struggled in his second full season with the team, his point total dropping from 40 to 29 despite his plus/minus rising to a plus-13. Don't expect Sutter to be down again this season; he'll have more ice time, a larger role in the offense, and a chance to rack up stats on the power play with Cole gone.
PLAYER UNDER THE MOST PRESSURE
Eric Staal. With Cole gone, Staal is going to have to find chemistry with a brand new line mate and show he's still got the form that propelled him to being a 40-plus goal scorer. If that wasn't enough, the captain will be looked to for leadership and guidance during the post-season push.
PROSPECT TO WATCH
Zac Dalpe. Considered by many to be Carolina's top prospect, Dalpe had a modest three goals and four points in 15 games. He'll likely see more than 15 games this season and could find himself on the power play at times as well.
On Twitter: @HockeyPrimetime and @bcbenzel
Photos by Getty Images