– The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that Eric Staal
has been selected by his teammates as Carolina’s nominee for the 2013-14 King Clancy Memorial Trophy. It marks the fourth time that Staal has been nominated for the honor, which is annually awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in his community.
This season, Staal celebrated the sixth year of his “Eric’s Entourage” program, in which he purchases a luxury suite – fully equipped with food, snacks and drinks – for each Hurricanes home game, and donates it to local children’s charities. The children attending the games become members of “Eric’s Entourage,” and receive goody bags, including “Eric Entourage” t-shirts signed by Staal. Throughout the season, several of the groups using the suite visit Eric after games for meet-and-greets. Among the charities benefiting from the “Eric’s Entourage” program this season were the Boys and Girls Club of Wake County, the Masonic Home for Children, StepUp Ministries, Autism Society of North Carolina, East Durham Children’s Initiative, Horizons Grief Center and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Along with the “Eric’s Entourage” program, Staal is an integral part of the Kids N’ Community Foundation’s fundraising events. He is one of the team’s most-requested players at the Foundation’s golf tournament, and is highly sought-after with fans at annual Foundation events like the popular Skate with the Canes and Casino Night and Wine Tasting.
On the ice, Staal, 29, leads the Hurricanes in scoring, with 58 points in 76 games played (through games of April 9th). The Thunder Bay, Ont., native ranks first on the team in assists (38) and third on the team in goals (19) this season. Staal (6’4”, 205 lbs.) has served as the Hurricanes’ team captain since January 2010, and ranks first on the Hurricanes (since relocation) games-played list, passing Glen Wesley on December 31 against Montreal. Selected by Carolina with the second overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Staal has scored 287 goals and earned 398 assists (685 points) in 766 NHL regular-season games.
Also in a vote of Hurricanes players, forward Manny Malhotra was named the winner of the team’s Steve Chiasson Award. The Steve Chiasson Award is given annually to the Hurricanes player that best exemplifies determination and dedication while proving to be an inspiration to his teammates through his performance and approach to the game.
The Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) on Thursday announced the winners of its annual awards. The writers named defenseman Andrej Sekera the team’s most valuable player, and named Jordan Staal the winner of the Josef Vasicek Award for cooperation with the local media.