Former Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour
donned his jersey one more time before his No. 17 was raised to the rafters of the RBC Center before Friday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers
Players on both teams wore No. 17 jerseys in warmups and during the 35-minute ceremony -- then the real No. 17 saw his a banner bearing his number raised to the roof to join Glen Wesley
's No. 2 and Ron Francis
' No. 10.
"The banner that means the most to me, that means more than an individual banner, and obviously you know what I'm talking about, is the Stanley Cup championship," Brind'Amour said during his speech while looking up at the 2006 championship banner.
Brind'Amour retired after the 2009-10 season with 452 goals and 1,184 points in 1,484 NHL games. He spent his last 10 seasons with the 'Canes after being acquired from the Flyers during the 1999-2000 season after nine seasons with Philadelphia. He is now the Hurricanes' Director of Forwards Development.
After a lengthy standing ovation, Brind'Amour thanked Carolina fans for "willing us to victory" in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers
, noting that the crowd stood for all of Game 7.
"You were not going to let the Stanley Cup out of this building," he said.
The Cup was back at the RBC Center for Brind'Amour's big night -- and the crowd roared as it was brought out just before Brind'Amour's number was raised. Brind'Amour looked at it -- but didn't put his hands on it.
Brind'Amour also expressed gratitude to Flyers coach Peter Laviolette
and assistant Kevin McCarthy
, both of whom were behind the Carolina bench in 2006. Brind'Amour noted in his speech that he and Laviolette didn't see eye-to-eye when Laviolette replaced Paul Maurice
as coach in December 2003, but that Laviolette "helped me realize my dream."
Brind'Amour noted that four players from that '06 team -- Eric Staal
, Cam Ward
, Erik Cole
and Chad LaRose
-- still were playing for the Canes, saying that while he can no longer call them teammates, he can "always call them friends."