Hurricanes Skate Their Way Toward the Season
Posted September 14, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
GREENSBORO — Carolina Hurricanes took the ice for day number two of training camp Tuesday in Greensboro.
Quickness and conditioning are the object of every drill the Hurricanes run in training camp. The team's fitness has impressed one important newcomer.
"I've never played on a team before in my career that has as little body fat as some of the guys here," Hurricane center Ron Francis said. "I mean they work out extremely hard."
No matter how fit, a player faces an adjustment when he returns to the ice. Hockey is all about skating, and skating requires legs.
Players ride bikes virtually all year around, but even the best conditioned legs scream when subjected to the rigors of training camp.
"You cannot build that kind of stamina unless you're playing in contact and the physical part of the game," Hurricane coach Paul Maurice said. "As hard as you can work out all summer, it is very hard to reach that game intensity day in and day out."
In camp Tuesday, players skated, and skated, and skated some more. The agony began to show on almost every face as coach Maurice put players through a six minute sprint.
"It seems a lot longer when you are on the ice doing it," Hurricane center Jeff O'Neill said. "Nothing compares to getting back and skating against the fastest, and best skaters in the world."
Every steal and every shot the Hurricanes make this season will begin with a conditioned pair of legs.
Wednesday the Canes are scheduled to hold a scrimmage. Saturday they have their pre-season opener with the the Rangers.