Players are already skating at Raleigh Center Ice, training camp is only a few weeks away, and there’s still a lot of old business left for the Carolina Hurricanes before the new season.

Neither Eric Staal nor Cam Ward has a new contract, which leaves both in limbo heading into the final season of their deals. Talks between general manager Ron Francis and Rick Curran, the agent for both, have been amicable but without resolution.

“We’re comfortable letting this go down the road a little bit,” Francis said Tuesday.

While Francis denied the uncertainty surrounding the team’s ownership is hampering negotiations, the fact remains the Hurricanes have done very little this summer while owner Peter Karmanos continues to seek a buyer for the franchise.

Since Karmanos approved the mega-millions buyout of Alexander Semin’s contract in June – admittedly, no small decision – everything else has been quiet, with no free-agent reinforcements added. The Hurricanes didn’t have to re-sign (or trade) Staal and Ward this summer, but it was the easiest time to do it. Now, Staal’s situation in particular hangs over the season like a cloud – just like the potential sale of the team has for a year.