All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Thursday, July 31, 2008

COI "Not Quite on Topic" Bettman Art

Okay. I admit it. I just can't give Bettman enough credit to photoshop his little head onto a picture of Batman or [insert random superhero] here. I had to give him his due. But what the hell! Even though they are not exactly what the contest was looking for, they were just funny enough to me that I had to submit them just for sh*ts and giggles. So here are my takes on what a Bettman photoshop should look like:

Or maybe:

Damn the resemblance is uncanny on that last one! I've always wanted to do that one. It just seemed so natural...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

COI Contributions to the Puck Daddy Gary Bettman Photoshop Expo

G-Dubs of Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy has a rather brilliant "photoshop the NHL Commish Gary Bettman contest" going on. Here's what I've sent in so far. If you get the urge - email your submissions to All entries due by August 1st.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Meet Marshall Taylor

The following is a transcript of the COI e-mailed interview with a very special young man:

What's your name and when were you born?

My real name is Philip Marshall Taylor but I want to be called Marshall. My Dad’s name is Philip. My Mom says 2 Philip’s would be 1 to many. I was born on May 23rd, 1996 in Raleigh.

Explain what life is like living with kidney problems.

Life is not too different than for my friends. I do get a shot every night in my leg and another shot every 10 days in my arm. I take pills every day and sometimes I get sick in the morning and throw up. I go to the UNC Kidney Center every 2 or 3 months for tests and to be part of some kidney studies. But I go to school, play sports, go swimming, and do other stuff like everyone else.

After reading this, some folks might consider donating an extra kidney. What do they need to know about arranging that?

My Mom and Dad say everyone should volunteer to be an organ donor when they get their driver’s license. People should tell their doctor that they want to be an organ donor. If someone wants to be a living organ donor, they can find information at this web site:

Name three things that an aspiring goaltender should know.

  1. Being a hockey goalie is hard work but it is also a mental position. You have to keep your head in the game.
  2. You have to talk to and help the defense as they play in front of you.
  3. You have to stay positive even after someone scores on you.

What is your favorite moment as a Carolina Hurricanes fan?

Seeing Rod Brind’Amour hold the Stanley Cup up over his head when they beat Edmonton in game seven was the best.

Good answer! Who's your favorite College hockey team?

The Virginia Military Institute (Club Team)

Notre Dame (NCAA Team)

I wonder how you got started as a chili chef and winning prizes with your recipes.

I watch “Emeril” on TV a lot. When my church had a chili cook-off, I entered and won a prize. After that, I wanted to win more prizes, so I started cooking a lot with my Dad. He’s a good cook, too.

Has it been difficult trying to keep up with school homework and grades with all your medical treatments?

Yes, it’s tough but my Mom helps me with homework. She and I study together. She’s working on her Masters Degree from ECU.

Who is your favorite hockey player? It looks like you have met quite a few!

Cam Ward, Chad LaRose and Rod Brind’Amour are my 3 favorite players.

Favorite thing to do other than basketball and hockey?

Swimming and reading books are two things I like to do a lot. I like to listen to music on my IPod.

Marshall's website can be found here. A big THANK YOU to Marshall and his father for this interview.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Freaky Friday: Erik Cole is covered in oil

(Edmonton Journal)

Weird. This picture is gonna take some getting used to.

If you folks want to follow Erik Cole's year in Edmonton - do yourselves the favor and check out the many outstanding Oilers blogs. My favorite one is Covered In Oil. He seems pretty darned happy up there.

H/t Kukla on the link.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What if Jeff O'Neill introduces the Molson Miracle?

Let me begin this post by stating that I have no inside sources here, just simply throwing this out there.

What if tomorrow, during the Canes Summer Fun Fest as the evening's climax begins with the showing of the Molson Miracle - the one and only Jeff O'Neill introduces it? It would be a huge PR move for the team and for marketing in general. Love the (potential) signing or hate it, this would generate an incredible amount of buzz around Caniac Nation.

Would you jeer or cheer? Better yet, if it is 8:00 tomorrow night and you have drank tailgated a bit too hard, will you even believe your eyes?

Thanks to C-Leaguer for the idea.

NHR: The Avett Brothers are coming home

If you look at my blogger profile, you'll see 30 or so of the hundreds of musicians that I dig. I've seen a countless number of concerts in my young life and The Avett Brothers are by far my favorite live show experience.

I can't tell you how proud I am of these guys who recently were signed by the Columbia Records group, American Records. The band has been touring non-stop throughout the country and remains one of the hardest working groups in the business. Their new EP, The Second Gleam was released today and it is outstanding as usual.

As of Tuesday night, the show still wasn't sold out for this Saturday the 26th at the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday than to see my favorite band back in their home state at such an awesome venue (which just happens to be right down the street from the homestead).

Here's "Late in Life" and "Distraction #74" from a show in Tampa last December:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Chad LaRose: The One that almost got away

Here's the highlights from the Jan. 12th game in Raleigh against the Colorado Avalanche.

If you watch the video, you'll notice that the Canes' goals come from an Erik Cole breakaway, a Keith Aucoin rocket-of-a-shot, Cory Stillman slapper and Chad LaRose sweeping up the trash. The irony here is that the first three will not be suiting up in a Carolina sweater come September and that the fourth was nearly lost.

I read mixed opinions that surfaced during the limbo time of not knowing whether the organ-eye-zation was willing to bring LaRose back. Some said that he would be easily replaced. Others threatened to ex-communicate with the team if he was let go (most of those folks added that they couldn't stand to see two fan favorites leave Raleigh in the same month).

Personally, I think Chad is just coming of age. Keep in mind that his third season with the Plymouth Whalers produced a team-leading 117 points in 49 games (including a team record 61 goals). Also keep in mind that he's a homegrown boy, being the only person to play in each level of the CompuWare hockey teams (Compuware AAA Ambassadors, Plymouth Whalers, Florida Everblades, Lowell Lock Monsters, and the Carolina Hurricanes). The Chuck Norris of Hockey himself has been Petey Boy's child prodigy since he was crapping thunder into his little diaper.

As much as I may have a man-crush on him, this could all be a wash as my boy Jimmy could trade him away tomorrow for all I know. But he will be needed if Earl Sleek's stat projections for the 08-09 season are at all accurate.

I'd like to take this time to offer a sneak preview to the Carolina On Ice CafePress store. Stay tuned for some additions over there, but here is the first design:

ECU Hockey schedule released

Wuffie's McLovin Dance continues today as the ECU Ice Hockey page has the release of their schedule for the 2008-2009 season.

Dates to circle on your calendar and plan for the drive to G-Vegas:

The November homestand at Bladez On Ice starting on the 7th against the Division II Duke Blue Devils with the following weekend having VT's Division II team Fri. night the 14th and U of R on the following Saturday the 15th.

That game against the Richmond Spiders will be a re-match of the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference 2006 Championship where the Pirates came up just short of winning their conference in the 1st year of existence.

Unfortunately, the ECU boys don't have App State or NC State on the schedule at this point. ASU is in the other division of the newly re-aligned BRHC but don't rule out the possibility of a Pirates/Wolfpack tilt as they scheduled a game midway through this past season. For all of you who are in the Raleigh area - the closest that ECU will come to us is at the Triangle Sports Plex in Hillsborough vs. Duke on October 25th.

An update on Matt Cullen's concussion recovery

(image via Flickr user Dasro)

Glove-tap to the Lets Go Canes board regarding this article on the progress Matt Cullen is having this summer:

"Cullen, who equaled the highest points total of his career with 49 in just 59 games, said he’s seen several specialists in North Carolina and Denver. His last check-up about a month ago showed no lingering signs of post-concussion syndrome. Cullen’s been free of headaches, and says his off-season on-ice training is going as planned.“I love the way I’m feeling right now,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to be 100-percent (to start the season).”

Apparently Cully had a great interview on 99.9 The Fan that should be available thru The Fan's website, but I can't seem to find it. Any help with that would be appreciated and this post will be updated accordingly. Thanks to "dabest" - here is the link to the interview.

In regards to Matt's health - boy, do I hope for the best with him being 100%. I only worry that one more hit like that will be the swan song for his poor melon.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rolling Blackouts & You act like you don't know

Any of you folks out there have insider's access to the new black 3rd Hurricanes jersey before it comes out?

There seems to be mixed opinions on them, but this guy can't wait to get his paws on one. I read on a newb's blog "Eye of the Storm Is Upon Us" that they are considering the Red Wings game in October as the first game to wear them. Call me pessimistic, but I'm not sure I want to associate getting creamed 6-2 by Detroit as the first appearance of the black uni's. If that ends up happening, maybe they should reconsider the design and go with CasonBlog's suggestion.

I'll bet East Of Here's shiny wooden nickel that the Hurricanes' marketing dept. will have "Blackout Nights" this coming season in conjunction with the darkness jerseys. It kind of makes sense I suppose -- most of us North Carolinians are used to their power going out during hurricanes / tropical storms. I'm sure that the team can come up with a cooler slogan for those nights than something like "Rock The Red". Cheese factor 84% loaded.

In regards to the old and/or clueless people surveyed that don't know / don't care about the Carolina Hurricanes, I can say this: Naturally the average person in North America doesn't usually associate the words "North Carolina" and "hockey" in the same sentence. But like Mr. Hurricanes Insider said so well, "Tradition to us is going to the Stanley Cup finals, on average, once every 4 years or so. That's tradition in this market."

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lo and Behold: The Schedule

Ahhh yes.

A little relief today for the malnourished Caniacs / hockey fans - we can start planning our next 9 months (and hopefully another 3+ months).

Champion Caniac Bloghead Bubba gave the Hurricanes 2008-2009 schedule the business down there today. Check out his post for some can't miss games and fun-filled facts about the coming season!

I've started up the Panthers vs. Hurricanes Facebook Event page. If you're a facebooker - join in the fun and perhaps keep yourselves entertained and hyped for opening night.
Happy Blogiversary to CasonBlog & Red and Black Hockey!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You gotta be kidding me: Canes to bring back Jeff O'Neill?

(photo: 850 the Buzz)

Luke posted a lengthy blog entry tonight which was great to see in this dead time of hockey and sports in general. For the Caniacs deprived, almost any news is good news right now. Almost that is, until you see a headline like this:

O'Neill back in Canes' plans - maybe

The team is interested in talking contract with the one and only Jeff O'Neill.

I'll admit that I had to make sure my contacts hadn't fallen out upon first reading that. Out of all the free agent possibilities for the Hurricanes to be talking to - they're back in cahoots with the Diva himself? Sure, he was one of the team's all-time leading scorers - but it's no longer 2001 and there are reasons why he wasn't playing in the NHL last season.

My boy, Jimmy mentioned that if he were to join the organization - it would be as a depth center. Is this a sign of how confident the team is regarding the health of Matt Cullen? They're so concerned that Cully hasn't/won't recover from his two concussions last year that Jeff O'Neill playing out of position would be an effective emergency alternative?

I can't wait to read what the Acid Queen has to say about this.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rosey's back & them young'ns are in town

I knew it would only be a matter of time before Mr. LaRose re-signed with the Canes. I've seen this said many places over the past week and a 1/2 and couldn't agree more: Yes Erik Cole had to go and he was a fan favorite. But losing Chad AND Erik in the same month wouldn't go over too well with the already disgruntled fanbase.

I made it out to the Hurricanes prospect on-ice portion yesterday at the RecZone. Sure, it was neat seeing all the prospects sweating bullets, huffing & puffing. What I got the most kick out of was seeing Glen Wesley out there guiding the defensemen along with Ronnie Francis at the other end.

Luke thinks that Brandon Sutter was "big, smooth & polished". I'd say he was more "big, clunky & goofy". It is obvious that this kid has the hockey sense in him, but he still needs to grow into that big body of his. Maybe it was the ass-kicking that trainer Pete Friesen gave the boys before the skate that made him look that way to me.

Zach Boychuk looked really sharp. He's fast as hell and was making some wickedly good shots on goal. Michael Leighton appeared sharp as I've ever seen him, making several dazzling saves during the shooting drills.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You know you want some Frank Kaberle for your team

Recent trade rumor-mongering has alienated the Hurricanes' Frantisek Kaberle as the guy who is the "you're cool and all, but you stink" player and supposedly headed for either for Atlanta or the Florida Everblades (via the Arturs Irbe treatment). I would however like to offer a contrary opinion to the mass public on this fine, outstanding young gentleman. And this is totally not to advertise his services to the Atlanta Thrashers.

First of all, Mr. GM Don Waddell. Can I call you Donnie? Great. Donnie, let me just tell you how much Frank has impressed Caniac Nation over the past few seasons. Not only is he the sole reason that they won Lord Stanley's Mug, he also happens to be a former Atlanta Thrasher.

Secondly, his last name is Kaberle. He has a brother who is a superstar with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is almost nearly as good as Frantisek.

Third - his critics claim that he hasn't been the same since his reconstructive shoulder surgery in 2006 and that he is as useful defensively as a pylon. No way dude! He's played great every game. Even the 50 odd games that he was on the IR - breathtaking, inspiring hockey player.

Really, to put it simply: Frantisek Kaberle is all that is man. Don't believe me? Take a look at what he did when his inferior brother's team visited the home arena this past season:

Look, Donnie. Defenseman don't just fall from trees these days. They're mighty expensive too. For two large/per, you can have a Kaberle with all the offensive defenseman prowess that you'll ever need.

By the way, your suit looks sharp.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A great way to spend an hour of your time

Upon reading some new threads on Lets Go Canes this morning, I stumbled upon a DailyMotion website by a user named GateCityCanes. Let's just say this guy has access to some hard-to-find, yet hard-to-forget footage.

I spent well over an hour checking out his videos. I debated on which one to embed, but settled on this one:

Do yourselves the favor - check out his rather spectacular collection and prepare to see and hear some old, familiar names.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday America & A Salute To The Blogosphere

First off, let me say that I love being an American. I always have and I always will. Thanks to all those who unselfishly make the sacrifice because they too love their country.

Second, I'd like to take this time to salute the entire hockey blogosphere and my fellow Caniac bretheren. In particular: Bubba of Canes Country, D-Lee of RBH (who's been blogging like its his job), her majesty AQ and even the in-and-out of hibernation Scotty Cason. I was a big fan and loyal reader of all those folks and the only reason this site came to be is because they stopped updating on the regular for a while. Thanks to those guys and thanks to you, too.

See ya next week.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Welcome to Josef "I can't believe it's not Vasicek" Melichar

The former Penguins D-man who played in the Czech republic signs with the Canes today for a (cue Dr. Evil voice) One Million Dollar, One year contract.

As an aside, the Hurricanes Ticket Sales Dept. is now accepting payments in euros.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Farewell to Colesy, Hello Joni

I'd been clamoring for some kind of news out of the Hurricanes, well that clam opened up big time today. I've had some time to sit a spell and do some research on Pitkanen and think about the proper send-off for #26.

Erik Cole, from his 2002 rookie year until April of '08, was a true power forward. From his legendary days with the BBC Line, to his extremely frightening and career dangering neck injury, to his triumphant return in games 6 & 7 before the Cup win and through last season - you couldn't have asked for a classier guy.

Whether he was charging up the ice or laying out the opposition, living a quiet Southern lifestyle or raising money for his home town's library; Cole was the player that you could always look to set the example.

Caniac Nation will certainly miss him but the timing was right and the situation was necessary for him to move on. Take care up there, Erik.

I'm sure that there is a near-endless amount of clips to choose from, but I'm picking this one as his C.O.I. swan song:

On to Joni Pitkanen.

Is it pronounced "Yo - nee"? I heard a radio talking head say it as "Yanni" today. Let's hope it's not "Yawn-nee".

Covered In Oil offered a pseudo-scouting report on him in their post the other day after speculating that he might indeed be traded:

"Joni Pitkanen is probably gone, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Actually, wait, no, I really love somewhat chaotic, flaky Finnish defenceman, especially 24-year-old ones who are capable of skating an entire lap with three effortless, platonic strides. " - DMFB

Back in 2003, The Sporting News had this to say on the budding young Finn:

" His ability to handle physical play is a concern. He has had shoulder and knee surgeries and will have to shake off a reputation of being injury-prone. "He can be overaggressive sometimes and take risks that don't work," says the scout. His shot has force but is not very accurate." - Kara Yario

I'm gonna have to trust in my boy Jimmy on this one. Judging from his propensity to scout and eventually sign former Philadelphia Flyers, he's obviously had his eye on Pitkanen for quite some time. Oh yeah, and he's an offensive defenseman - in case you haven't heard. My main concern is bringing in another injury-riddled player after what the Canes have been through in the past two seasons especially.

I do think that he will be a good compliment to one Joseph Corvo seeing as Joni shoots left and Corvo right. He should also be a good compliment to the suddenly very Euro-friendly Hurricanes squad. Only time will tell.

UPDATE: per TSN, Joni Pitkanen is signed to a 3 year deal, total of $12 Million. About as close as expected. He's now our highest paid defenseman, BTW.

Joni Pitkanen - Meet the newest Carolina Hurricane

Rather than start spewing, I will wait until later today to post my thoughts on the Erik Cole trade for Joni Pitkanen.