GOALTENDER WILL ALSO WEAR A SPECIAL HELMET FRIDAY NIGHT
RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 5, 2002) – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager for the Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes announced today that the team will honor goaltender Arturs Irbe prior to Friday night’s game against the Florida Panthers at RBC Center. Irbe reached a major NHL career milestone when he played his 500th career NHL game on Jan. 23, 2002 against the Nashville Predators.
Jim Gregory, Vice President of Hockey Operations for the NHL; Peter Karmanos, Jr., Owner and CEO of the Carolina Hurricanes; and Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford will be present for the special presentation. The National Hockey League recognizes a goaltender’s 500th game as a major milestone achievement, as it does for a skater’s 1,000th game. Irbe, who became the franchise’s all-time leader in wins on March 30, 2002 at Boston, is seven games shy of becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (Sean Burke, 281). He earned his 200th career NHL win on March 2, 2002 at Montreal. The ceremony will begin slightly after 7:00 p.m. and prior to the game’s faceoff.
Irbe will also debut a new helmet for Friday’s game. Similar to his old helmet, the one Irbe will wear Friday night bears the red and white flag of his native country of Latvia and the Kids First Fund logo. Irbe is a board member and strong supporter of the Kids First Fund, which supports abused, abandoned and handicapped children. The charity concentrates its efforts in developing countries and economies including Latvia. For more information about the Kids First Fund or to see pictures of the special helmet, please visit kidsfirstfund.org.