Hurricane Season Already ?

By Dustin Nielson

When your take a glance at the list of forwards who will not be back with the Hurricanes you instantly
think….oh boy.

Nathan Barrett, Tomas Kopecky and Martin Podlesak are all moving on to bigger and hopefully better things.
With that said, the Hurricanes don’t have the fire power needed to be a playoff team….or do they?

The Hurricanes have eight regulars returning to the trenches up front. Among them are tiny dynamo Jeremy Jackson and ,reliable point producer, captain Ryley Layden. Jackson and Layden chalked up 91 and 84 points respectively last season and will be asked to carry even more of the load this season.

The Canes are going to need some of last season’s grinders to step up into a more offense role. Brett O’Malley, who showed flashes of Theo Fluery like tenacity and touch, will need to put pucks in the net on a more conistent basis. Minor hockey stars D.J. King and Nick Chibi will need to show that they can play their physical game and produce points.

Braden Appelby, Brian Patterson and Paul McBrien will have to make the most of their minutes and make sure they take care of things in their own zone.

Also look for 16 year old John Lammers to get a great chance to pick up a regular shift. He saw some time
as a 15 year old and ,even though he looked a little out of place with the full cage, he showed he could skate and wasn’t afraid to take a hit.

What is a good way to produce some more offense?

If you said bring in a couple of Europeans then you
my friend hit the target dead on.

With Podlesak and Kopecky heading to the A.H.L. the Canes picked up two more fowards from the other side of the big water.

Finnish winger Antti-Jussi Miettinen’s status with the Canes is still uncertain as he may remain in Finland. IF he does show up he will help the offense as he averaged a point per game in the Finnish Junior League last season.

Martin Krupka is the other new import. He will be in camp with the Canes for sure and most likely on their roster for opening night.

Check back late next week for a training camp update and a preview of the Blueline Boys lead by 2003 NHL Draft Eligble Brent Seabrook.

Dustin Nielson
Hurricanes Hockey