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Community: Webisode #2, Willie O'Ree and the Crew

by Doug Warf / Carolina Hurricanes
Webisode 2 - Workout

Doug Warf
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Today we will air the second of four webisode installments of Chad LaRose and Eric Staal in their preparation for the All-Star game. The first installment debuted on Time Warner Cable, specifically during the Versus coverage of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Webisodes two, three and four were designed to air specifically on the Web. They take a slightly more comedic approach and each incorporates Stormy into the webisode. By the way, Stormy is technically in all four as he can vaguely be seen in the reflection of the glass behind the bench in the closing of the first video. 

Webisode #2 is debuting on the freshly-formed Canes-specific page on YouTube. www.youtube.com/caniacnation is where we will begin to post many things that will also be on CanesVision Online. Though CanesVision Online will still be our focus, we will keep YouTube.com/caniacnation updated and possibly with never-before-seen content. 

After you watch webisode #2, you will probably notice the unique “Vote for Rosey” T-shirts that Chad and Eric are wearing. I was not sure if Chad and Eric would be comfortable wearing the shirts, so we first shot the webisode in workout attire. I then showed Chad and Eric the artfully-crafted homemade “Vote for Rosey” T’s. Without hesitation, Eric laughed and said they were definitely wearing them. 

After the shoot, we had Chad and Eric sign their “Vote for Rosey” workout T’s. The T-shirt that Eric Staal wore in the video will be given away to a lucky Canes follower on Twitter. Once we reach 6,000 followers on Twitter, we will randomly select on of the followers to receive the T-shirt. Whomever wins the shirt is truly winning a one-of-a-kind shirt as there are only two total, and each is obviously slightly different (aside from one being a large and one an XL). 

One subtle difference that you can barely notice in the video is that one of the “o’s” on Eric’s shirt needed a little repair by the end of the shoot. I will keep the “o” in it’s current state and the winner can let us know if I need to break the iron back out or not. Maybe I will work on an authentication stamp for the inside of the shirt, much like game-worn jerseys, in case imposters creep in.

Again, big thanks to Eric and Chad for their participation.

Capital City Crew – Hockey is for Everyone Clinic
Saturday was an exciting day for many Capital City Crew members as Willie O’Ree and several members from the NHL were in
Raleigh to host a Hockey is for Everyone Clinic for the Capital City Crew.  Click here for a photo gallery of the event.

As you probably know, the Capital City Crew is a team that is part of the “NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone” initiative. Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the NHL, now serves as a NHL Ambassador. Mr. O’Ree tried several times to get his schedule to coordinate with that of the Capital City Crew during their normal ice times. Unable to do so, he remained persistent and was able to host the clinic on May 15 at the Cary Ice House (thanks to Raleigh Youth Hockey Association for donating the ice time). 

His persistence in life was a part of what he talked to Capital City Crew players about. He talked to them about the importance of setting goals and working hard to meet those goals. He told kids that they would be faced with adversity, but their hard work and persistence would pay-off. 

Mr. O’Ree told a great story about when he took a puck to the eye and lost vision in his left eye. He said that doctors told him that he would never see again out of that eye and that he would never play hockey again. He said that one of those two things was true. One Crew member asked if he ever scored a goal again with one eye…and he calmly responded with “yes, a few”. Tony McKegney, also in town for the clinic, asked Willie how many exactly. He again calmly replied, “over 300”.

It is terrific that the kids on the Capital City Crew do not fully comprehend how difficult Mr. O’Ree’s journey truly was. However, it is great for them to learn the history of the game and to learn the wisdom that only a legend like Willie O’Ree can pass down. 

I am always impressed by Mr. O’Ree as he has made several trips to the Raleigh area. He sat out the on-ice clinic this time and I asked him why. He said that he just had surgery to his left knee. He said his right knee has been repaired twice and his ankle once. None of these repairs seems to slow him down though, as he said he would be back on the ice once he is cleared to skate.

The NHL brought in several national hockey experts to help with the clinic. As mentioned, Tony McKegney, who scored 639 NHL points in 912 NHL games, was in attendance. Dave Smith, the NHL director of fitness and medical, led the on-ice clinic. He was also joined by Al MacCormack (former division III coach), and Al Bloomer, the USA Hockey National Coach in Chief. Of course, several Capital City Crew and RYHA coaches helped round out the roster. 

Nearly 20 of the Capital City Crew members were able to join and a few RYHA players helped round out the group. The nearly two hours on-ice seemed to fly by as the kids got an opportunity to play on ice for the first time in nearly three months.

Mr. O’Ree definitely left the Crew excited to begin again in the fall. A special thanks to Rob Wooley of the NHL for working the Crew coach John Scott to set-up the star-studded clinic.


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