The pace has been fast and the intensity apparent. It's just that the Carolina Hurricanes don't have a lot of time and want to make the most of it.

The NHL season begins Saturday and the Canes open on the road, against the Florida Panthers. There's much to be done to determine the roster and the players who will board the plane for South Florida on Friday afternoon.

The Canes, like other NHL teams, have a reduced number of players in training camp. They will add three more before Tuesday's noon scrimmage at Raleigh Center Ice, as forwards Zac Dalpe, Brett Sutter and Riley Nash were recalled Monday from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League.

Canes coach Kirk Muller said a message was given to the players who began the season in Charlotte, during the NHL lockout.

"It was, 'Your training camp really is your season in Charlotte,'?" Muller said Monday. "It was, 'This is your opportunity to show what you really have. This is where we're going to really monitor and judge you.'?"

Many responded well to that challenge. Some, like defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti, have played so well in Charlotte that they have a chance to be in the Canes' lineup Saturday.

Sanguinetti, a former first-round draft pick by the New York Rangers, has six goals and 15 assists in 36 games for the Checkers this season. His play has been smooth and consistent.

"He's had an exceptional first half," Muller said. "He's the type of player we're looking for back there, moving the puck, he's a smart player. He's finally healthy and he looks more confident than before.

"He's showing he's ready for the NHL. He's going to make it real tough on us for decisions."

Forward Zach Boychuk, the Checkers' top scorer this season, could do the same. And Dalpe, despite not being in the first Charlotte call-up wave, possibly could push for a spot among the top nine forwards – if not this week, early in the NHL season.

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