Hurricanes return to practice in Raleigh

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RALEIGH (AP) Members of the Carolina Hurricanes have returned to their home ice at PNC Arena as the team began voluntary training sessions amid the second phase of the NHL’s return plan.

In a video conference with reporters, captain Jordan Staal said the players went through safety protocols that included wearing a mask and getting a temperature check when arriving at the arena, as well as “keeping your distance as best you can.”

The team had announced last week that roughly 16 players were expected to participate, divided into two groups, with workouts closed to the public and media.

Staal said the goal was “feeling the ice again” while running some drills. The team hasn’t specified which players were scheduled to participate in Tuesday’s sessions, though Staal said his group included All-Star defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

Hamilton broke his left leg in January, but the team has said he should be ready to go if the season resumes.

“Hopefully we can get through this Phase 2 and 3 unscathed, and get in the bubble and go from there,” Staal said.

Training camps may open as early as July 10 if an agreement between the league and players on virus testing, health and safety protocols, and “hub” cities to host the games can be reached.

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