RALEIGH — While dozens of NHL players and league officials are converging on the Triangle for the weekend's All-Star festival, many of the Carolina Hurricanes will hit the exits.
Other than goalie Cam Ward, forward Eric Staal and rookie standout Jeff Skinner, it's vacation time for the team.
After Wednesday's game in New York against the Islanders, the Canes have the remainder of the week off. They resume play Feb. 1, when the Boston Bruins visit the RBC Center.
"For most of the guys, it's a time to recharge batteries and get ready for the important second-half games," veteran Erik Cole said. "If you're not in the game, it's about the last time during the season to catch your breath."
Here's what some of the non-All-Stars will be doing:
Cole and his family will visit Florida, but there's no golf on his agenda.
"I don't play golf at all during the season," Cole said.
Jiri Tlusty and Jussi Jokinen have trips planned to Mexico's Yucatan resorts.
"I need some sun," Tlusty said. "I thought about maybe trying to play some golf, but my shoulder doesn't need that right now. I'll work out and spend a lot of time enjoying being warm."
Jokinen said the All-Star recess is a good time "to get your mind off hockey for a couple of days. Then you come back and boost yourself for those last 30 games and making the playoffs."
There will be no weather break for forward Sergei Samsonov, who is taking his family to their Michigan summer house.
"I play golf a lot there in the summer, but I doubt that's available [in January]," Samsonov said.
Troy Bodie is going to meet a friend in Vail, Colo.
"But no skiing. Not during the season. I'm not that crazy," he said.
Ryan Carter and his wife recently got a puppy, so it's bonding time. They will stay in town.
Joni Pitkanen and his wife just had a baby son, so they will stay put, as well. In his bachelor days, Pitkanen said he normally used the All-Star break to take a beach vacation.
Justin Peters will head home to Blyth, Ontario. He gave some thought of taking a beach trip but said he doesn't want "too much of good thing."
Defenseman Jay Harrison said his wife and two little girls are "in desperate need of some entertainment.
"We're going to take them somewhere to have some fun, but it'll be within driving distance. Myrtle Beach, maybe," Harrison said.
Brandon Sutter will likely drive in the opposite direction: "I might head to the mountains here in North Carolina."
Pat Dwyer will stay in Raleigh with his youngsters and do some entertaining. Some of his friends from Chicago are visiting for the weekend.
Coach Paul Maurice is going the Dwyer route.
"Lots of family coming in," Maurice said. "We bought some tickets, but not enough for everyone. So the folks who are the most excited to see the game will get to use the tickets, but they're going to have to really show some excitement to get one."
One guy who will be at the All-Star game and in a fan's role is Canes radio voice Chuck Kaiton.
"My wife wants to go to the game, so we're going to the game," Kaiton said.
Staff writer Chip Alexander contributed to this report.