Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 10/04/08 at 02:23 PM ET
As expected, the Hurricanes and their top pick Zach Boychuk came to terms on Saturday on a three year contract that is exactly the same as the one Brandon Sutter signed in March.
As the signing came on Boychuk’s 19th birthday, it was a pretty sweet birthday present. From the N&O:
I’ve had some good presents in the past but I don’t know if any can top this one… I’m excited.
Exciting indeed. I think I got a watch for my 19th birthday.
As I’ve pointed out, Boychuk is recovering from surgery and hasn’t played in any full contact game speed practices and won’t be able to suit up for tomorrow’s preseason finale, but his stay in Raleigh doesn’t have to end now. He can heal up and play in up to ten games before the contract kicks in. Due to the glut of injuries the Hurricanes are already dealing with, that scenario just might play itself out.
He should be out of commission for at least another week, then some rehab. The team has been extremely impressed with his skill level in informal practices, but there is no timeline or game plan for him just yet.
We haven’t talked too much about what the plan is for my future yet. I know they just wanted me to get the contract out of the way and get it signed. Now I can really focus on rehab for my wrist and get the strength (back) and hopefully I’ll get the chance to play some games.
This is a very important step in what will likely be a dramatic changing of the guard in a few years. Ray Whitney and Scott Walker, who are 35 and 34 years old respectively, are both signed through 2009-10 and Rod Brind’Amour who is
37 is signed through 2010-11. Brindy will probably play well into his nineties, but Whitney and Walker are going to be in the twilight of their careers by then. It’ll be time to rotate some young highly skilled players into the fold. Fortunately, Carolina doesn’t necessarily have to rush players like Sutter and Boychuk and Zac Dalpe. Although Sutter my be being hurried along, it’s good to see the team take its time with the other young players.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.