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Talking Points: Canes just say 'no'

From Talking Points:

With the Devil Rays playing in the ALCS on Saturday, the Lightning asked the Hurricanes to move the time of Saturday night's game up to 5 p.m. from 7:30 p.m.

The Hurricanes said no, and it's hard to blame them. With a home game Friday night — the opener against the Florida Panthers — the Canes would be at a huge competitive disadvantage playing earlier.

Read more here.

ALSO: In case you missed it yesterday, here's the long-awaited Hurricanes-NASCAR link, lending ex post facto validity to years of mistaken characterizations of the area from journalists elsewhere.

Rutherford demands training changes

Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, concerned about his team's run of injuries in recent seasons, has instructed strength and conditioning coach Pete Friesen to make sweeping changes to the off-season conditioning regimen for the players.

Rutherford has broached the subject in various ways the last few weeks, including in an interview this week with TSN. And he was blunt today.

"I've given my opinion cautiously the last few years, because it's a long way from my expertise," Rutherford said. "But with the amount of injuries we've had, we have to do something different. There's some reason we've had so many and it's not coincidence.

"I'm not saying don't train. But in my opinion, athletes today may over-train. There have been a lot more injuries in the past decade, especially in hockey."

What about Shanahan?

Tags: Canes Now

There has been speculation in the New York area about the Canes possibly trying to make up for the loss of Justin Williams and now Scott Walker by signing forward Brendan Shanahan.

He's 39. He's won Stanley Cups. There is talk he wants to return to the New York Rangers. Then again, he's known Canes general manager Jim Rutherford since the days in Hartford.

Here's what Rutherford had to say today: "It’s not something we’ve pursued. We’ve been under the understanding that he wants to stay in New York. If he is interested, it’s something we’d have to talk about. But I would be surprised to get that call knowing that he wants to play in New York."

Laviolette: Canes lose 'depth up front' with Walker out

In Tuesday's shuffling of the lines, with right wing Scott Walker out for six weeks, Chad LaRose moved into Matt Cullen's line with Ryan Bayda during practice.

Coach Peter Laviolette said Walker is hard to replace.

Canes work the lines, thin roster

Tags: Canes Now

A day after losing forward Scott Walker to hand surgery, the Canes are back on the ice for practice.

The lines:

Tuomo Ruutu, Rod Brind'Amour, Sergei Samsonov.

Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, Patrick Eaves.

Ryan Bayda, Matt Cullen, Chad LaRose.

Dan LaCouture, Brandon Sutter, Wade Brookbank.

Forwards Joe Jensen and Trevor Gillies, and defenseman Tim Conboy have been sent to Albany.


Canes sign LaCouture

Tags: Canes Now

The Canes have signed free-agent forward Dan LaCouture to a one-year contract.

The deal will pay LaCouture $475,000 on the NHL level or $50,000 on the American Hockey League evel, with a guarantee of at least $75,000 during the 2008-09 season.

Walker out six weeks after surgery

Forward Scott Walker underwent successful surgery on his left hand today for a torn ligament in his left hand and is expected to be out six weeks.

Dr. Harrison Tuttle of Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic performed the surgery.

: General manager Jim Rutherford said the injury
occurred last Sunday during Walker's altercation with Nate Guenin of the Philadelphia Flyers during an exhibition game. Guenin blindsided the Canes' Matt Cullen and Walker soon squared off against Guenin and landed several blows.

Monday debate: the final roster

Tags: Canes Now

Twenty-eight players on the roster, 23 spots available. The Canes will make the final roster cuts this week and coach Peter Laviolette said there are some tough decisions to be made.

So which five players will go? And why?

UPDATE: With Scott Walker now out six weeks following hand surgery this morning, that's another position that needs to be filled.

The floor is open.

Hurricanes 2, Predators 0

RALEIGH — Ray Whitney scored off a rebound of a Patrick Eaves shot at 7:19 of the third period, and Eric Staal added an empty-netter in the final seconds to give the
Hurricanes a 2-0 victory Sunday over Nashville.

Cam Ward notched a shutout in goal as the Canes finished their preseason schedule 3-3 after losing the first three exhibition games.

''It's a nice way to end the exhibition season, obviously,'' Ward said. ''It was nice to get in a full game and have things go well."

For LaCouture, tryout means trying hard

Tags: Canes Now

When the Hurricanes' training camp began, Jeff O'Neill and Dan LaCouture were both unsigned free-agent forwards who were out of the NHL last season and were invited to camp for a tryout.

O'Neill, a former Canes' star, got all the media attention, not that he sought it. LaCouture had more staying power.

O'Neill ended his comeback try a week ago. LaCouture, meanwhile, came into camp in terrific physical condition, having healed a right shoulder that had given him problems and required surgery in January.

"The biggest thing is they gave me an opportunity, which is all I asked," he said. "I wanted to make the most of it. You don't always get a chance like that.

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