RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The key piece of equipment at Thursday's practice for the Hurricanes? A name tag.
Carolina has a bunch of new players, making this year's training camp vital.
Of the twenty on the opening night roster, almost half will be new faces. Captain Jordan Staal isn't worried about them fitting in.
"I feel like a lot of the new guys came in quite early so we're getting to know them quickly," he said. "It looks like a great pace out there today, I'm still huffing and puffing after that practice so it was a good day and all the guys look ready to go."
With new skaters comes a learning curve as they get acclimated. The Canes also have an entirely new group of goalies. Rod Brind'Amour says the number one job is wide open.
"That's probably less of a concern to me because they just got to stop the puck right? It's not systems, it's not them trying to figure out where to be at all times it's just stop the puck."
Brind'Amour learned a valuable lesson while losing to the Lightning in last year's playoffs. Depth on defense is a precious commodity. Ethan Bear is one of those new faces here to help with that. He came over in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for Warren Foegele.
"I get a fresh start and as a player, it's huge and now I just want to work hard, compete and make a good first impression."
COVID restrictions have lightened considerably with the team fully vaccinated. The guys can meet together and communicate easier.
"You don't have to wear the mask in here. That's nice for me because I'm trying to talk and guys are looking at me and I'm like, 'did they hear what I said?' They always give you that (head shake) but do they really hear you? But I feel like now they can hear me."
The Canes first preseason game is next Tuesday against Tampa Bay.