The Carolina Hurricanes turned the Red-White scrimmage over to the young guys Sunday.
Well, the young guys and Derek Ryan.
The Canes’ regulars such as Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk and Cam Ward had an early morning practice, signed autographs during the annual Caniac Carnival and had the rest of the day off. The Red-White became a future stars kind of scrimmage at PNC Arena, one played with a youthful pace and energy.
The White team won 3-2 on Sergey Tolchinsky’s penalty shot. That came after forward Brendan Woods drilled defenseman Tyler Ganly into the boards with less than a minute to play in the final period.
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Ganly had to be helped off the ice and had his shoulder bandaged after the game.
Ryan, at 29, was the oldest player on the ice. The center made his NHL debut and played six games for the Canes last season after spending the 2014-15 season in Sweden.
“It’s only my second NHL camp, so it’s not like I’m a veteran around here,” Ryan said. “I still feel like I’m proving myself here. That’s what I’m trying to do every day, whether it’s the Red-White scrimmage or practice or preseason game, whatever it is. Just try to prove myself and prove I can play here.”
Ryan spent most of last season with the Charlotte Checkers, the Canes’ American Hockey League affiliate. In 70 games with the Checkers, he had 23 goals and 55 points — both teams highs — and was the team captain.
Not only did he get in his first NHL games, scoring a goal in his debut, he also became a much-traveled man. At one point in the season, Ryan played five games in five days and 12 in 15 days as he kept being recalled by the Canes and then sent back to the Checkers.
“It was taxing, for sure, but when you’re playing in the NHL the adrenaline gets you going,” he said. “It was tough getting sent up and down and probably harder on my family than me. … At the same time that’s part of the business that we’re in. You come to expect those kind of things, especially on a two-way contract.”
Ryan signed a one-year, two-way contract June 16 that will pay him $600,000 at the NHL level or $300,000 at the AHL level, with a guarantee of $350,000. He decided not to test free agency, saying, “I feel like this is my best shot at playing in the NHL.”
Training camp got a little smaller Sunday. The Canes announced seven players were being sent back to their junior teams: forwards Steven Lorentz, Hudson Elynuik and Spencer Smallman; defensemen Noah Carroll and Ben Gleason, and goalies Callum Booth and Jeremy Helvig.
General manager Ron Francis said Finnish forwards Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho would join practice Monday. The two, members of Team Finland in the World Cup of Hockey, took part in the autograph sessions Sunday.
Lorentz and Andrew Poturalski had goals for the White in the scrimmage, and Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe for the Red. Di Giuseppe scored on a penalty shot after a high-sticking call against Tolchinky.
The Canes will practice Monday at PNC Arena before their first preseason exhibition game, on the road Monday against the Washington Capitals.