Canes fans got their first look at the team's prospects Wednesday night at PNC Arena, but with Kim Muir running the on-ice skating sessions.
Muir, a power-skating instructor based in Detroit, again took the prospects through various skating exercises -- the defensemen and goalies first, then the forwards in the second group. She also noticed a difference.
"The forwards are a little more talkative, a little more confident Type-A people," Muir said, smiling. "Defensemen, I think, are more methodical, more thoughtful and stuff.
"The forwards were having fun. Forwards are usually high-tempo, super fast and more about doing the drill rather than methodically doing it correct. They want to be first, want to be the best. Defensemen are usually more analytical about the game and about positioning and stuff like that, and usually not as talkative on the ice."
Asked to name the "prize student" in each group, Muir picked forward Brent Pedersen and defenseman Josh Wesley. Muir also has worked with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, the junior hockey team Wesley played for last season, and said, "He knows all my drills."
Muir was hired to work with the Canes and the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) the past few years, and said she will return this fall for the Canes' preseason training camp.
For defenseman Brett Pesce, attending his second prospects development camp, it meant his second year of the Muir sessions. It’s beneficial, he said, and something he believes will help him again this season.
"You can definitely learn how to get faster and increase your stride," Pesce said. "I know last year I had difficulty backward skating, with the crossovers. This year I thought it was a little better."
Two of Muir's former skating clients are defenseman Tim Gleason and forward Chad LaRose, both Michigan natives who hooked up with Muir as a teacher years ago. Gleason recently signed a free-agent contract that will bring him back to the Canes and LaRose is considering a comeback after a year away from hockey.
"We're hoping Chad comes back," Muir said. "We're just mentally and physically getting him back on track. He wants to be here and my job for anybody is to help them attain their goals."
While the skating sessions left most of the prospects tired and ready for dinner -- they also were on the ice in the morning for hockey drills -- it was even more taxing on goalies Daniel Altshuller and Logan Halladay, who had to do all the tight turns and balance moves in their goalie gear.
"Goalies need a lot of balance in their game," Altshuller said. "And just being good on your feet. A goalie needs to be a good skater and needs to be agile and needs to be flexible. Things like this kinds of get every muscle working."
Talkative or methodical, the forwards, defensemen and the goalies all got the same sendoff from Muir after their sessions -- Muir’s trademark hug for each player.