The Carolina Hurricanes will have 50 players begin their preseason training camp, with the first on-ice sessions now set for Thursday at PNC Arena.
The Canes initially were to take the ice for the first time Friday but received approval from the NHL to begin Thursday because of the impending threat of Hurricane Florence, the team announced Wednesday. That will allow the team to cancel practices either Friday or Saturday, depending on the severity of the weather.
The players will be divided into two squads, called Team Grit and Team Grind. The first on-ice practice Thursday will be at 2:45 p.m. for Team Grit and 4 p.m. for Team Grind.
The Canes’ first preseason game is Sept. 18 against Tampa Bay.
“Everyone has to earn their spot,” said the Canes’ Rod Brind’Amour, beginning his first year as an NHL head coach. “That’s what training camp is all about.”
That includes first-round draft picks. Rookies Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov will compete for spots among the top forwards after finishing play in the four-game Traverse City (Mich.) NHL prospect tournament.
The Canes won their opener, then dropped the last three games, losing 7-3 Tuesday to the Dallas Stars.