Thank You Rod Brind’Amour!

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I know I will never forget the Carolina Hurricanes 2006 Stanley Cup run, it was such a great time to be in the triangle.  The young, up and coming Eric Staal, Erik Cole coming back from a broken neck to play in the finals, Cam Ward standing on his head in the nets, Game 7 at the RBC Center…. and all led by the captain, Rod Brind’Amour. 

On Wednesday, Rod Brind’Amour retired after 21 seasons in the NHL. He played for St. Louis and Philadelphia before being traded to Carolina in 2000.  Age and the Hurricanes youth movement are sure factors in Brind’Amour’s retirement. He was told he would not a part of the team’s rebuilding plan.  Brind’Amour will be moving to the ‘Canes front office…along with another former captain, Ron Francis. 

Thank you for the memories, Brind’Amour.

You stay classy, New Jersey – Part 2

Help me out here.  What is it with women from New Jersey and their proclivity to show the middle finger when their team is losing?  We’ve all seen this screenshot from Game 7 of the quarterfinals last year when Staal scores the game winner with seconds remaining to get the Hurricanes past the Devils into the next round:

Nice! Oh, Ms. NJ Devil Fan, you’re a little monkey woman. Yeah, you’re lean, mean, and I bet you’re not too far in between, are you? How’d you like to wrap your birds around my…

Okay, so Saturday night, Brian Rolston illegally kicks the puck in the goal past Justin Peters. After a lengthy review, the officials correctly call off the goal (or confirms the non-goal status, who knows, they never signaled either way when the puck went in…whatever). So the FSN camera crew does the obligatory shot of Rolston’s face who predictably shakes his head thinking it was a good goal.

Then the camera expectantly focuses in on Coach Lemaire to see if he reacts, which he doesn’t. He knows it wasn’t a good goal.

But…oh…hold on…wait for it…wait for it…yes…here it comes…

Bam!

Again with the finger…or fingers in this case. Way to hold up the New Jersey banner! And such an attractive specimen, too. Now I know why tigers eat their young. But seriously, what it is with the Jersey Shore crowd and their middle finger salutes? Go figure.

Okay, all that aside, great game last night for the ‘Canes. Even without Cullen, they looked like they commanded the game most of the 60 minutes. Whitney was phenomenal last night and Peters almost came away with an impressive shutout.

We now go into the Winter Olympics break. I’d like to personally wish Tim Gleason all the success for Team USA, Eric Staal for Team Canada, and Jussi Jokenin, Joni Pitkanen and Tuomo Ruutu for Team Finland. This is a great group of players to represent the Hurricanes.

The “C” baton has been passed from Brind’Amour to Staal

Both WRAL and SportsNet.ca are reporting this news item this morning:

Brind’Amour out, Staal in as Canes captain

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has named Eric Staal as the new team captain for the Hurricanes. Staal is the fifth captain since the team’s arrival in North Carolina, and the 13th player to serve in that role in franchise history. Rod Brind’Amour had served as captain from Aug. 25, 2005 until today, and will remain an alternate captain.

“Rod has been the consummate leader for the Hurricanes since his acquisition nearly 10 years ago,” said Rutherford. “He is the only captain in franchise history to lift the Stanley Cup, and he will continue to play a leadership role in our organization.

“The time has come now for Eric to assume the top leadership role for his teammates. This is part of the rebuilding process for the Hurricanes, as Eric is the player around whom the team will be structured. We feel confident in Eric’s ability to lead his teammates and are excited to begin this next era.”

Anyone care to speculate why this happened today?  Is retirement in the near future?  Any relation to the looming trade deadline?

Another set of questions:  Do you think this was voluntary?  Was it JR’s idea?  Brind’Amour’s idea?  Chip Alexander of the N&O tweeted that if JR made the call, Brind’Amour had the power to veto.  An article on ‘Canes site (http://hurricanes.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=514291) states:

Rutherford: Brind’Amour Had Final Say
Wednesday, 01.20.2010 – 11:35 AM
By Paul Branecky

There was little question that Eric Staal would captain the Hurricanes at some point. The team accelerated that process today.

In a closed-door meeting with the team before practice at the RecZone this morning, General Manager Jim Rutherford informed the team of the change, which makes Staal the 13th captain in franchise history. Former captain Rod Brind’Amour will assume the role of alternate captain.

Although it was ultimately Rutherford’s idea to make the change mid-season, he said that he gave Brind’Amour the opportunity to reject the move if he so desired.

“I made it very clear to Rod that if this is, in his opinion, not the right time or not the right thing to do, that he had every right to speak up,” said Rutherford. “Once there was some thought put into it and both guys were comfortable with each other, then it was time to move forward.”

So what are your thoughts?  Agree?  Disagree?

Looking at the NHL players’ Cost/Point effectiveness

If you’re like me, you’re trying to save every penny possible in this ridiculously sucky economy.  We’re trying to get more value for every buck we spend and I can tell you, there are a lot of Food Lion brand labels in the gotoeleven pantry (if you can find the Food Lion brand hot salsa, it’s actually really good).

Continue reading Looking at the NHL players’ Cost/Point effectiveness

Carolina Hurricanes Are The Worst?”

I do love my Hurricanes.  I loved them when I went to every post-season game in 2006, and I love them today as they dwell in the basement.  I continue to wear my red and black proudly.  So, imagine my joy as I dug through my NHL news RSS feeds and found this little ditty of an article on the CBCsports.ca site that starts off like this:

“The Ottawa Senators have one of the worst road records in the NHL, and now must begin a five-game trip with a slew of injuries, a struggling power play and goaltending woes.”

“Visiting the league-worst Carolina Hurricanes could help them overcome those obstacles.”

Continue reading Carolina Hurricanes Are The Worst?”

How do you have three Olympians and still stink?

The Carolina Hurricanes have had three of their players named to national hockey teams for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.  As expected, defenseman Joni Pitkanen and forward Tuomo Ruutu were named to Finland’s squad, and forward Eric Staal was named to Team Canada despite his injury-hampered season.  Surprisingly, forward Jussi Jokinen was not named to the Finnish team despite his performance on Finland’s silver-medal winning Olympic team in ’06.  And goalie Cam Ward received serious consideration for Team Canada but ultimately was not chosen.

So if the Hurricanes have three players named to medal-contending Olympic teams, and two more that could have or should have made national teams, why are they the worst team in the NHL?

More disappointing weather phenomenon…

… the Triangle’s snowstorm that wasn’t, or the Carolina Hurricanes?

Triangle residents who were hoping to share in the bounty of snow heaped upon the rest of the state (and Virginia, DC, Maryland, and points northward) were sorely disappointed.  Likewise, Canes fans who were hoping the team would build on last season’s trip to the Eastern Conference finals have also been sorely disappointed.

Continue reading More disappointing weather phenomenon…