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Canes Enjoy Break, Focus on Future

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RALEIGH — This summer finds Paul Maurice enjoying his golf game by day, and watching the Stanley Cup playoffs by night. Now he's especially interested in the Washington-Buffalo series from the Hurricanes own Eastern Conference. But he'll tape and watch every minute of every game:

"You watch for certain things," Maurice explains. "You watch for penalty kill tactics for instance. And if we see something we like, we'll steal it."

The Hurricanes front office has spent the summer re-signing its free agents, Robert Kron and Glen Wesley, just to name two. The core of the team will return intact, although the Canes expect to add another player or two.

"We feel stability is important," says Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford. "That's why we wanted to keep our team together at this point. And the players, they love it here."

The Hurricanes will have to draw more fans to pay these higher future salaries. They remain positive about their reception.

"We do not do as well as other NHL markets," Rutherford admits. "But we're in a non-traditional market. The growth we've had in recognition in a year is remarkable."

Paul Maurice now gets recognized on the golf course.

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Bob Holliday, Reporter
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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