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Boychuk, Dalpe, Sanguinetti push for spots

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The Canes continued to pare down the training camp roster Wednesday, placing forwards Andreas Nodl and Brett Sutter on waivers. That left 14 forwards and eight defensemen in camp along with goalies Cam Ward and Dan Ellis.

That also means that Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalpe, Drayson Bowman and Bobby Sanguinetti are still in camp, not headed back to the Charlotte Checkers. Boychuk was the left wing on Eric Staal's line Wednesday opposite Alex Semin, and Dalpe was on Jordan Staal's line at right wing opposite Jeff Skinner.

"I'm just trying to bring something to that line," Boychuk said. "I'm just trying to help those guys. Obviously they're going to do well. I'm trying to bring my speed, bring my energy."

Sanguinetti made a change today, working with Jay Harrison as a defensive pair. That was a subtle change that could have larger ramifications, especially for Jamie McBain, who had been with Harrison but was paired Wednesday with Ryan Murphy.

"After these last few days, he's making it tough (and) pushing to be in the top six," Muller said of Sanguinetti. "There's still a decision to me on the fifth and sixth defensemen."

Muller noted that such players as Jiri Tlusty, Jussi Jokinen and Chad LaRose -- the third line Wednesday -- have been "open-minded" about Boychuk and Dalpe being used on the top lines. Tlusty was on Eric Staal's line at the start of camp after ending last season on Staal's line.

"I think those three understand it's the big picture we're after," Muller said. "If we get an opportunity to get some of these young guys a look and see where they fit in -- the luxury is they've played half a season already and game shape might be a factor.

"It's just three lines that bring something different to the table. It's not set yet but it's a possibility."

Bowman was on Tim Brent's line with Pat Dwyer on Wednesday. Tim Wallace, also among those recalled from Charlotte, remains in camp and was an extra forward along with Kevin Westgarth.

Sutter was placed on waivers for the purpose of reassigning him to Charlotte. In a procedural move, the Hurricanes also placed seven current Checkers players on waivers -- forwards Chris Terry, Jerome Samson and Nicolas Blanchard; defensemen Marc-Andre Gragnani, Brett Bellemore and Justin Krueger; and goaltender Justin Peters.

Nodl was claimed off waivers by the Canes from the Philadelphia Flyers last season. NHL teams have until noon Thursday to claim available players off waivers.

Nodl's $845,000 cap hit, which would be prorated for 48 games, may make him attractive to teams looking to pick up a forward at the right price. If Nodl is not claimed, the Canes could look to make a trade.

Wednesday's practice wasn't as long or as intense as the first three days as Muller and the staff stressed defensive play in the Canes' zone and special teams.

"Defensive zone coverage is our No. 1 priority," Muller said.

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at chip.alexander@newsobserver.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.
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