After listening to a cacophony of voices through the first week of training camp, including a 2-0-1 start to the preseason, the Carolina Hurricanes heard only one Saturday morning. Bill Peters may be so recently returned from a successful stint with Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey that he isn’t quite sure what day it is, but that didn’t stop him from jumping straight back into his day job.
Peters was in the press box for Canada’s games and in charge of scouting the other two World Cup games at the Air Canada Centre each day, a different perspective for him. He continued to observe from above after returning Friday, watching the Hurricanes’ 2-1 overtime loss from a PNC Arena suite and letting assistants Rod Brind’Amour and Steve Smith continue to run the show, as they had in his absence.
“You can jump right in, but there’s no doubt there’s a little bit of catch-up, for sure,” Peters said. “I haven’t much time to talk to the coaches. I didn’t want to bother them yesterday. I got back in the afternoon and let them do their thing in preparation for the game. Now, we’ll be able to get caught up here this afternoon and in the morning. It felt a little rushed today, but now we’ll get back to a normal routine moving forward.”
With Peters back, there isn’t much time for adjustment. The Hurricanes leave Sunday for three games in four days in St. Paul, Minn., Marquette, Mich., and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, taking 46 players on the trip even after sending five players to Charlotte (AHL) after Saturday’s practice – goalie Daniel Altshuller, defenseman Josh Wesley and forwards Clark Bishop, Erik Karlsson and Kyle Hagel.
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That’s a relatively large roster for this point in the preseason, but the Hurricanes want two full teams available not only to ensure no one plays in back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday, but to give Peters a chance to make a quick if belated assessment of players he has only been able to watch in video clips so far.
“Some of these guys, I haven’t seen play,” Peters said. “I want to see them in a competitive environment, see how they react to some duress, is really what it is. You want to see them on the bench, what their body language is like, see what adjustments you can make.”
Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, firstname.lastname@example.org, @LukeDeCock