Carolina Hurricanes training camp: Five questions
Back spasms in the Stanley Cup playoffs affected Cam Ward's play against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the back pain returned late last month in Canada's Olympic camp. The goaltender says it's not a problem. Time will tell.
A knee injury just before camp last year was a setback for Rod Brind'Amour, who went on to have a rough 20th NHL season. But the captain is healthy, ready for camp and determined to be productive, durable forward all season.
Will youth be served?
Nine prospects head into camp off a tournament championship in Traverse City, Mich., and there are others. Roster spots will be hard to win given the Canes' veterans, but don't sell short such prospects as Zach Boychuk and Brandon Sutter.
Arthroscopic knee surgery should keep defenseman Joni Pitkanen out of most of preseason camp, allowing someone else to step forward and make an impression. Who wants it?
The Canes have four preseason games after playing six last year. Can that make a difference? "Nobody really wants to play a lot of those," Brind'Amour says. "They're good to get your timing and get your game speed, but you want to play for real."