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Carolina Hurricanes Preseason Opener 

When: Wed., Sept. 18, 7 p.m. 2013
Price: $25-250
Ah, it's that special time of year when the boys of winter return to Raleigh, lace up their skates and take the ice. It's also time to drop such sentimental hogwash—the Canes have made the playoffs just once since their 2006 championship. They've never been without promise or intrigue, however: In the past, they've delivered Jekyll-and-Hyde seasons that find them in the league cellar at the midpoint before unleashing an inspired playoff run that falls agonizingly short. Will this season be different? Will Jeff Skinner find his rookie form after a couple years of concussion issues? Is Eric Staal recovered from a gruesome offseason injury? Will the Canes defense miss Joni Pitkanen (a heel injury has already scuttled his season), or will his absence give young studs a chance to shine? Can Cam Ward stay healthy all year? So many questions will begin to be answered in this preseason opener against the new conference rival Columbus Blue Jackets. Ah, it's that special time of year when the boys of winter return to Raleigh, lace up their skates and take the ice. It's also time to drop such sentimental hogwash—the Canes have made the playoffs just once since their 2006 championship. They've never been without promise or intrigue, however: In the past, they've delivered Jekyll-and-Hyde seasons that find them in the league cellar at the midpoint before unleashing an inspired playoff run that falls agonizingly short. Will this season be different? Will Jeff Skinner find his rookie form after a couple years of concussion issues? Is Eric Staal recovered from a gruesome offseason injury? Will the Canes defense miss Joni Pitkanen (a heel injury has already scuttled his season), or will his absence give young studs a chance to shine? Can Cam Ward stay healthy all year? So many questions will begin to be answered in this preseason opener against the new conference rival Columbus Blue Jackets. Ah, it's that special time of year when the boys of winter return to Raleigh, lace up their skates and take the ice. It's also time to drop such sentimental hogwash—the Canes have made the playoffs just once since their 2006 championship. They've never been without promise or intrigue, however: In the past, they've delivered Jekyll-and-Hyde seasons that find them in the league cellar at the midpoint before unleashing an inspired playoff run that falls agonizingly short. Will this season be different? Will Jeff Skinner find his rookie form after a couple years of concussion issues? Is Eric Staal recovered from a gruesome offseason injury? Will the Canes defense miss Joni Pitkanen (a heel injury has already scuttled his season), or will his absence give young studs a chance to shine? Can Cam Ward stay healthy all year? So many questions will begin to be answered in this preseason opener against the new conference rival Columbus Blue Jackets. —Chris Vitiello

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