RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Andrei Svechnikov wears the yellow jersey signifying no contact at Tuesday’s practice. Had the young star not been wearing yellow, you would never know he was injured. The Carolina Hurricanes are being cautious with Svechnikov and have no problem starting the season without him.
“You had an idea this was going to happen or possibly happen,” said Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “We played without him a lot unfortunately at the end of last year and obviously through preseason, so, next guy up and let’s keep going and be hopeful he returns soon.”
Brind’Amour said it’s unlikely Svechnikov will travel with his teammates when the Hurricanes embark on a six-game, 12-day road trip following Wednesday’s home opener against Ottawa.
For some teams, losing a star player can be crippling, but not for this team, says Hurricanes forward Michael Bunting.
“Coming in here I noticed right away it’s a close-knit group and guys have one another’s backs and it’s pretty special when you have a team like that,” said Bunting.
Bunting is one of just three players on the Canes roster making their debut on Wednesday and it’s that continuity that can help overcome the loss of a key player.
“Yeah it’s definitely a huge thing, the group here has been together for three or four years and having that familiarity on the ice and knowing the way we want to play definitely helps us,” said Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei. “The new guys have jumped in and did a great job so far and just excited to get going tomorrow.”