If the Checkers do get Jeff Skinner, it appears they’ll have to wait a little longer.
As players reported for fitness testing on the first official day of training camp today, the Hurricanes’ 20-year-old All Star was not with them. According to Checkers coach Jeff Daniels, Skinner is not expected to be with the team when it holds its first on-ice session at Extreme Ice Center on Saturday.
“He’s still back in the Toronto area training,” said Daniels. “He has the team’s consent, and we’ll see where things go from here.”
Though the Hurricanes officially assigned Skinner to Charlotte along with 27 other players on Sept. 15, the move only guaranteed Skinner’s AHL eligibility, not the fact that he would actually play. As such, that opportunity will remain open for the duration of the NHL’s labor stoppage, however long that might be.
“If this lockout drags on and he decides he wants to play some games, Charlotte will be an option for him,” said Daniels.
Daniels said that the news didn’t come as a huge surprise given the uncertainty surrounding Skinner’s plans and the nature of being a coach in the AHL, where he’s set to begin his fifth season in charge of the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate.
“At this level, you learn to prepare for different scenarios,” he said. “We’ve had a few different lineups in mind depending on what happened with different players.”
Meanwhile, there has been no change to the status of defenseman Justin Faulk, a young but established NHL player much like Skinner, who reported to fitness testing on Friday and will be with the team for its first practice. Likewise, all other players on the team’s camp roster are expected to attend.
An updated schedule and roster can be found here