The festivities surrounding the 58th NHL All-Star Game will commence in the Triangle in just over two weeks. The excitement level surrounding the event was fueled on Tuesday when it was announced that the Canes will have three representatives in the All-Star Weekend. Eric Staal
and Cam Ward
will continue to serve as great ambassadors of our team as they compete in the All-Star game and Jeff Skinner
will have a chance to compete in the Honda SuperSkills competition as part of the rookie contingent.
The excitement level has increased around the Hurricanes offices as well. We are working closely with the NHL to make sure all events are announced and detailed in the next week.
Though we are working more-and-more on the All-Star Game, we are still focused on Hurricanes upcoming games and events. I thought I would take a little time today to go over some details of other happenings of note.Rod Brind’Amour Jersey Retirement Night
As many of you know, Rod Brind’Amour’s number 17 will be retired and raised to the rafters on Feb. 18 prior to the Canes squaring off against Brind’Amour’s previous employer, the Philadelphia Flyers.
For those who were able to make it to Tuesday’s game against Calgary, you may have noticed that the in-game promo for this night stated that the ceremony will begin promptly at 7 p.m. That was not a misprint.
The NHL has new guidelines regarding jersey retirement ceremonies that requires the ceremony conclude prior to the “pre-game skate”. By rule, the pre-game skate is slated to start 30 minutes prior to the start time of the game.
So, at the start of the season, we moved the start time of the game to 8 p.m, so our ceremony could start at our customary start time of 7 p.m. We know this a change from our previous ceremonies, so we are trying to make sure everyone is aware.
For those who may question the new rule, there have been several teams that have overly elaborate ceremonies that greatly delay the start of the game. Though it can be fun for those of us in the stands, it is hard for the players who have gone through their normal preparation for a game only to sit on the bench (or the locker room) for long periods of time (some over 90 minutes). The NHL’s new policy creates a balance that keeps players in their routine immediately before the game while also allowing teams to hold ceremonies that consist of more than simply raising a banner.
This does not remove all of the anxiety around the night, as the team could still be fined a hefty amount if we are not done by 7:30. So you will probably still see a promotions person and the ice crew on the ice in a frenzy once the ceremony concludes.
Overall, this is shaping up to be a great night that will certainly be memorable for any Canes fan that enjoyed watching Rod play. Arena doors will still open at 6 p.m. and CanesVision is working with our promotions team to make sure there is entertaining content in the arena leading up to the ceremony. More details to follow.Jussi’s points make kids smile
A lot of Canes players have philanthropic interests that span throughout various countries. Over the past few years, we have had several players participate in Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids (TFK). Through TFK, they allocate a dollar amount to a certain statistic for the year. Players use various totals from goals, assists, points, game-winning goals, fights…you name it. The players who participate remain anonymous but their contributions are greatly appreciated as TFK always doubles whatever they donate. TFK then chooses deserving charities throughout North America to receive those donations.Jussi Jokinen
liked the TFK donation model, but also wanted to ensure he could donate to the needs of area children. So, this year, Jussi approached us about creating his own local model. Now, every Jokinen point equates to dollars for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation as he is donating $300 for every goal and $150 for every assist.
“The Juice” returned to the line-up on Tuesday from a six-game injury hiatus with a 3-point night that helped earn him first-star honors in a Canes victory. That first star was a little brighter for me as I knew it also meant $750 for local children’s charities.
Jussi’s 8 goals and 21 assists through 36 games played this season means that he has already committed $5,550 to North Carolina children’s charities. Let’s hope the Canes, and the Juice, continue their hot streaks in the second half of the season. Our fans, and our local children’s charities, will certainly enjoy it. Three other items of note:
- We have put the finishing touches on our third branding spot of the season. It will be unveiled soon and it features several highlight-reel goals from the first half of the season. It also features two historic moments that probably will be easily identified but they are two of my personal favorites. The first is Scott Walker’s Game 7 goal, and subsequent “hands on fire” celebration. The second is the save that Cam Ward made on Fernando Pisani late in the third period of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. These two “classic” highlights are mixed in with great goals from this season. Oddly enough, the Canes 2-1 victory over Colorado is represented with both Canes goals scored in that game. It was too hard to choose between Brandon Sutter’s OT winner and Skinner’s skate-to-stick then backhand top-shelf goal. Big thanks to Serious Robots and Blazing Sound as they continue to impress with their “scoring” ability.
- The Kids ‘N Community Foundation “Heart” logo stickers have made their return to the back of Canes helmets. They will be on all three helmet colors throughout the remainder of the season.
- We hope to have tickets for the 6th Annual Casino Night and Wine Tasting on sale before the All-Star Game. We are currently working towards the date of Jan. 20 for a soft on-sale.