7-Eleven That's Hockey Online: June 29th
While the Carolina Hurricanes will have several formerly injured players back in their lineup when play resumes, it appears defenceman Brett Pesce will not be among them.
Pesce, who sat third on the team in average ice time this season at 21:52 per game, was given a four-to-six month recovery timeline after undergoing shoulder surgery early March.
"It's going to be a long shot, but the longer this goes the shot gets a little shorter," head coach Rod Brind'Amour told NHL.com.
The Hurricanes, who had previously lost defenceman Dougie Hamilton to a broken leg in January, boosted their blueline depth at the trade deadline, acquiring Brady Skjei from the New York Rangers and Sami Vatanen from the New Jersey Devils.
When play resumes later this summer, Carolina is expected to have Hamilton available, along with Vatanen, who did not appear in a game following the trade deadline due to a leg injury. Defencemen Jaccob Slavin, Jake Gardiner, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Joel Edmundson, Skjei and Haydn Fleury are all expected to be in camp as well, competing for spots.
"There's going to be definitely a feeling-out process to see how everyone meshes, but those are pretty good options to be thrown into your team," Brind'Amour said. "There's going to be good competition. If everybody is healthy then we have extras, so I think it's going to be a question of really, how do they look by the time this camp is done? It's not like you get too long of a warmup period. When we start, every game counts, so we've got to go with whoever is ready. That's something we'll figure out."
The Hurricanes are slated to face the New York Rangers in a best-of-five series to determine who makes the playoff field when play resumes. Carolina was winless in four games against the Rangers during the regular season, being outscored by a total of 17-9.