All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Friday, August 29, 2008

College Hockey is so close you can smell it, really

The first weekend of October is lining up as a great one for college hockey throughout both NC and SC. As August finally frickin' comes to an end, the puck is coming back and many informal training camps and tryouts are underway or in the near future.

In the works is the Carolina On Ice Google Calendar that will be an automatically updated schedule with all the two state's game-times as well as the Hurricanes, Charlotte Checkers and hopefully others.

To get your team's schedule added, contact

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy and relax if you can.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

850 The Buzz & My Boy Jimmy answer everything

As this post is being typed, I'm listening to the lengthy interview of Jim Rutherford today by Adam Gold & Joe Ovies on 850 the Buzz. Must say that it is rather outstanding, as they ask the Canes' GM all the burning off-season questions:

The Return of Captain Hot Topic
and his ability to play left, right or center if needed. All signs have pointed towards O'Neill looking sharp in Camp Brind'amour.

The health of Matt Cullen and his dome-piece / skating / "feeling great. 100%".

David Tanabe is expected to come to training camp. If the team could legally buy him out they would have, so the only thing JR can do - is expect Avi to show up to camp in three weeks. Check out D-Lee's coverage on the Tanabe situation over this summer, he's been following it closely.

Rutherford on Brandon Sutter - "he's got a chance to make the team" - COI Translation: Sutter will be a Carolina Hurricane this year, you can bet your first born on it.

AG & Joe Ovies do it respectively as always, but certainly didn't hold much back for this interview. Towards the end of the clip, the conversation shifts to the fact that since the championship 2006 season - it's been two dissapointing, playoff-free years in a row.

Listen to the rest over at 850's site. It's certainly a good listen.

Is it just me, or does Jim Rutherford sound like the years have taken its toll on him? Listen, I'm a huge JR fan and there is a reason he's the longest tenured NHL GM. Perhaps it is just this YouTube clip that makes me think he's still a strapping young lad.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fox Sports would like to remind you not to draft David Tanabe

I scooted by Fox Sports's website to see if the Hurricanes TV Schedule was released yet to no avail but did find this:

Really? Thanks for the fantasy advice. Who the hell am I supposed to draft first now?

Hockey <3's Baseball

G-dubs, aka Puck Daddy, posted last week about the Binghamtom Mets minor-league baseball team having a hockey night in conjunction with the Binghamton Senators (the Ottawa farm team). They had former B-Sens on hand as well as the IceGirls at the ball game. They showed clips during intermissions from the movies Slap Shot and The Mighty Ducks. The baseball players were wearing uniforms that looked eerily similar to the B-Sens uni's.

Seeing all this made me think of the Durham Bulls and the Hurricanes previous ventures together.

After the the Canes won the Stanley Cup, there was a night of celebration in Durham as several Hurricanes threw out the first pitch and the Stanely Cup was on site. Needless to say, it was a sold-out, packed house and it wasn't because of the Durham Bulls vs. Richmond Braves big match-up. It was a lot of fun and seeing the evening's festivities (from a Caniac standpoint) compensated for the fact that it was 101 degrees w/ 100% humidity.

Also, as recent as last week Chad LaRose himself was the guest of honor at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to deliver the first pitch, albeit a dead duck of a throw. What hasn't Rosey done this summer? He's on hand for RBC Centura bank grand openings, Caniac Fun Fests, baseball games... I'm waiting for the announcement that he'll be an honorary scooper at Bruster's Ice Cream in North Raleigh for a day (or insert shameless promotion

Apparently there are some Durham Bulls fans that are also Carolina Hurricanes fans, contrary to what some will tell you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mail it in

Mailing it in on a lazy weekend with a pretty well put together YouTube clip:

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Canes can make the playoffs again if...

Some of them are saying that this will finally be the year that the Hurricanes make it back to the postseason, while others are still not convinced. After giving it some thought, I'm still undecided on what to expect from this year's team. The past two seasons have seen squads loaded with talent that either couldn't play because of injury or perhaps because of complacence.

I see the Canes being either Division Champs or at least playoff-bound again IF they can avoid their evil twin named "Slackass".

Don't remember him? Let me remind you:

December 12, 2008. Ottawa Senators are in Raleigh to take on the Canes. The Sens were still the hottest team in hockey and hadn't completely dismantled themselves yet. Carolina was coming off of a rather mediocre streak. They played at the Bell Centre in Montreal to remind themselves how to win. Less than 24 hours later, they had to play the eventual SC Champion Red Wings in Detroit and lost 5-2 (but sort of played them respectively).

So in comes OTT on the homecoming for the Hurricanes and instead of playing tough, they let the Sens walk all over them and it led to bloggers posting stuff like this:

East of Here's: Just What Am I Paying For?

and Caniacs in general either drank the sorrows away that night or cried in their collective pillows.

Fast forward a month. The NY Islanders are in the RBC Center. With the exception of Samsonov joining the team, January has sucked for the Canes as they are still losing to teams they can take craps bigger than. The Isles squad manages to score all 3 of their first goals on shorties. It's a NYI record. Outstanding. And D-Lee noted that two of them were on the same Carolina power play. Wade Dubielewicz (and his imposing stature) allows 3 Hurricanes goals but stands on his head to make 44 of 47 saves in a 6-3 win. Pathetic.


Unfortunately, there are a number of other games that I could have chosen to reference. If the Hurricanes can avoid games like those - they'll hopefully find themselves in a position where they don't have to win their final game of the season to make the playoffs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Camp Brind'amour in full swing

(Photo: Canes Country Bubba)

Ready for some hockey? Can't wait until training camp officially starts? Can't wake up at the asscrack of dawn to watch Brindy and the X-Canes skate at the RecZone? Good - me neither.

Thankfully, it appears that some more reasonable time slots are now scheduled for "Camp Brind'amour" at the Canes' practice facility:

Current RecZone Schedule

"11:00 - 12:00 Private Ice Rental RecZone : Rod" is posted for the next couple of days and something tells me it's not reserved for Rod Stewart or Rowdy Roddy Piper (although that would be interesting).

Starting on Monday 10:00-12:00 it will be "Hurricanes skate". Get out and see some hockey, folks.

Glove tap to the LGC again on finding the linkage..

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lowetide's Reasonable Expections for Erik Cole

(edmonton journal)

The outstanding Edmonton Oilers blog, Lowetide, has been doing a series of player previews for the upcoming season. LT's breakdown of where Erik Cole will fit in among the lines and personnel is worth a read.

He's spot on in his examining that Cole was constantly up against other team's top lines and didn't necessarily get paired with the top talent. Look for him to be an anchor veteran to the Oil's strong, young developing team. Best of luck to the classy Mr. Cole this coming season.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Luke DeCock's interview at Illegal Curve

A good read over at Illegal Curve (that's not published by Drew Mindell) today as they have interviewed N&O Canes beat writer Luke DeCock.

Among the highlights:

Richard: Do you think the team will be able to deal off one of their excess defenseman (namely Frank Kaberle) prior to the opening of the regular season?

Luke: Someone’s going to need a defenseman. It may take the opening of training camps for it to happen, but there’s going to be a deal out there at some point, and the Canes are in a financial position where they have to do something. The real question, to me, is whether they have a better chance of winning with a $49 million payroll and eight NHL defensemen or $45-47 million and seven NHL defensemen. You could make the argument that they’re being penny wise and pound foolish, but that’s easy to say when it’s not your money.

Blast from the past: 2000-2001 playoffs

It seems things are becoming All Things Arturs Irbe here lately but this is great to run across in the summer doldrums of hockey's offseason:

It's a bit grainy, but the YouTube user that uploaded that video has highlights, intros & post-game shows from every single game that the Devils had during that year's playoff run. It's unfortunate that the Canes ended up being pounded in that series. You'll notice I won't be embedding the video of Francis getting TKO'd by Scott Stevens on here. But that can be seen in his collection. It's still good to reminisce.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The perfect blogger's accompaniment

After these bad boys came in this week, I set the display case up with the other Canes figurine stuff on my already crowded blogging desk. Now considering I write the majority of the posts from this said "Man Room", these bobbleheads that came out around 2001 from Hardee's restaurants fit in quite nicely. I still can't pat myself on the back enough for finding these on Craigslist for $15 (Thanks again, seller!). They were all in the original boxes and plastic wrapping even.

The bobbling heads are certainly getting put to work here though. I'm what they call an "agressive typer". My co-workers know when I'm busy or not by the sound of my keyboard being abused. So as I log in to blogger and pull things out of certain orifices for Hockey-related material on COI; Jeff O'Neill, Ron Francis, Arturs Irbe & Rod Brind'amour all sit here smiling and staring me down. It can get downright creepy actually:

It's a good thing that I'm so easily entertained.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One guy that won't be missed

This was apparently Olli Jokinen's first public appearance as a Phoenix Coyote at an open house for season ticket holders. The Hurricanes will still have to face him twice, as they are one of the "wild-card" teams that play home and away as well as St. Louis & Anaheim. Still, facing him only 2 times this year as opposed to 6 (or 8) is a blessing for the Canes & Caniacs alike.

As an aside, there's no word on whether or not he's been hitting the beach this summer:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Frankie's gotta go to make room for O'Neill.. or K. Adams?

It's apparent that the NHL trade front has gone silent while the hockey world patiently awaits the staggering Swede's decision. The sooner that Mats Sundin can make his up his mind where or if to play next season, the sooner that Frantisek Kaberle can be shipped out of Carolina.

Obviously, it would seem logical for LA or Atlanta to take a risk on the aging Czech who is a former Thrasher and King. Both of those squads are still under the minimum salary cap for the league. They both have huge holes to fill on defense. While Frank may not be the offensive-minded stud defenseman that teams seek, folks still remember his 05-06 season which saw him score a career-high 44 points with a +8 rating. Methinks that other teams are asking for a forward or draft picks to be thrown in with a possible Kaberle trade. Otherwise he would have probably been moved around the beginning of July.

With the Hurricanes already at $4.6mil above their budget of $45,000,000, Frankie's $2.2 million dollar contract has to be shed from the team if they end up offering a contract to Jeff O'Neill. As #92 is coming to training camp on a tryout basis, the team obviously can't afford him even if Kaberle is shipped out. Hence the reason that Jimmy Boy has been hinting at the 2-way contract for Jeff.

Kevyn Adams was interviewed by a Buffalo newspaper (he's a Buffalo native) recently, he remains unsigned this offseason after an injury-shortened year in Chicago. Since being traded to Phoenix in 2006, his scoring numbers haven't been present among the Coyote and Blackhawk squads but his leadership abilities were never in question. If the team is willing to take a shot at Jeff O. who hasn't played professionally in over a year, why not bring in K-Ads for a tryout as well? What have they got to lose?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival: Can it get any better?

Today the wifey and I are heading out to Cary for the first annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheater. How brilliant is that? The World Beer Festival has been a smashing, massive success in Durham and Raleigh for many years now. But when you add bourbon AND barbecue to it, it could only get better right? Summer is all about events like these. Should be beautiful weather too, party cloudy with a high of 88.


Friday, August 8, 2008 interviews Ron Francis

A good read out today from as they interview Ronnie Franchise regarding his job position and his expectations for the coming season.

One particular part of interest is his view on young Brandon Sutter:

"He stepped into Albany after his junior season was done and looked like he had been there all year. He worked hard to put some muscle on. He’s up in the 180s. We think he’s big enough. He’s gotten strong enough. We think he’s ready.”

Well then, bring it on. H/t Alanah at Kuklas Korner.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Trevor Letowski to play for the glorious nation of Kazakhstan

Joining the John Grahame, Jaromir Jagr, Alexander Radulov trend, Trevor Letowski has left the NHL and signed with HC Astana of the newly formed Kontinental Hockey League based out of Russia. It's only a one year deal as he intends to tear it up there this season with a hopeful return to the NHL next year. My guess is that he'll do rather well. He played decent enough the past two years in Carolina but never saw much ice time beyond 4th liner minutes. His penalty killing skills were always in tip-top form if you ask me.

It shouldn't be a bad deal for him on this team. He is going to be one of their featured "current" NHLers and other than former FLA Panther Jozef Stumpel, there isn't any other big names to compete with on the team. Well, that's not including the household name Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev.

Best of luck to Trevor and dude, don't forget your winter coat because apparently it gets a little cold in the Kazakhstan winters. How cold?

"Average temperature of January, the coldest month, ranges form –50 C in the southernmost areas to –200C in the north."


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Johnny Random stops by

Some random items for you:

The new jersey numbers are posted at now, and Melichar will be sporting Commodore's old #22, Anton Babchuk is leaving #48 behind in lieu of #33 this season and Pitaknen will rock the #25 jersey.

There are also new Bios posted under player's roster pages now, the highlight being the question to Ray Whitney, "What song is playing on your iPod?" and his response, "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every way."

The Cary Ice House is having a clearance sale on their new style replica jerseys (no names or numbers on them). Stop by their pro shop on Buck Jones Rd. and pick them for $61 bucks (you'll pay $100-$110 everywhere else, normally).

Congrats to East of Here on his Bettman Pee-Wee Herman photoshop getting an honorable mention in the Puck Daddy contest.

Added to the Carolinas Hockey Links: NC Trailblazers, Women's Ice Hockey and The Citadel Club Hockey site.

Welcome Cory Lavalette into the Canes blogosphere as he joins in the fun with Bubba @ Canes Country.

I found a hidden gem among the Raleigh-Durham Craigslist: the entire set of the Hurricanes Bobbleheads from 2002 that were originally sold at Hardee's.
Included are Jeff O'Neill, Ron Francis, Arturs Irbe & Brind'amour. Awesome.

I believe as hockey fans we're all looking forward to the day when we don't have read the word "Sundin" in the headlines. Enough already!

Is October ever going to come?

Monday, August 4, 2008

RBC Center: Movin' on up

Thanks to some posters on The Scoreboards, news is out of a few needed upgrades at the RBC Center. The long awaited new sound system is in place and being fine-tuned for the coming season. The acoustics have been rather horrible there over the years, so I'm looking forward to having a little more clarity through the PA.

The old school jumbo-tron is being replaced next summer, as the RBC Center Centennial Authority is now accepting bids on the new one from general contractors. May I suggest studying whatever the Capitals did in the Verizon Center last off-season?
Finally, the gravel lots outside of Carter-Finley Stadium that serve as tailgate areas for many Caniacs are being paved this summer as well. During the Summer Fun Fest, I could see that our normal tailgating spot was covered in heavy machinery. Sigh.