The day before Carolina's season opener, Canes coach Bill Peters had a few final announcements to make.
Cam Ward will start the opener in net against the New York Islanders, Peters said Thursday.
Defenseman Andrej Sekera has been selected to be a permanent alternate captain, the coach said. And until alternate captain Jordan Staal returns from his broken leg, defensemen Jay Harrison and Ron Hainsey will rotate as alternate captains.
While many assumed before training camp began that Anton Khudobin might be the Canes' No. 1 goalie, based on his strong play last season, Ward had the better preseason and won the job -- for the opener. Peters said an evaluation would be made after every game, and the Canes face the Isles again Saturday in Uniondale, N.Y.
"We like both our goaltenders and will need both our goaltenders," Peters said. "We're comfortable playing in front of both of them.
"(Ward) had a real good summer and he's healthy. He came in here and played real well. He was good in the preseason. Anton was right there with him, too, and we could have gone either way."
Both Ward (groin) and Khudobin (ankle) were sidelined by injuries for parts of last season. Khudobin, with Ward out, was named the NHL's first star for January and set a franchise single-season record for save percentage.
But Ward returned to Raleigh this summer off a rigorous offseason conditioning program, determined to return to the form that made him the Canes' franchise goalie.
"With my injuries, I tried to get in the best shape possible," Ward said Thursday. "Your mindset also has to be that you put away past experiences and realize they don't exist anymore. I’ll just take it one day at a time.”
Forward Pat Dwyer, who wore a yellow no-contact jersey Wednesday, is back at full strength.