The Carolina Hurricanes were back on the ice in Raleigh for the first time in the New Year on Monday morning, and joining them again was one of this weekend's most talked-about people in hockey: Jorge Alves.
Alves, as you've probably heard by now, unexpectedly made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes on New Year's Eve in Tampa Bay. The Canes' longtime equipment man and frequent practice goaltender signed a professional tryout contract on the evening of Dec. 31 after Eddie Lack fell ill. Alves backed up starting goaltender Cam Ward, and then with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Alves was summoned by head coach Bill Peters to take the crease and finish out the game.
I attempted to capture just what that night was like for Alves, and you can read that here.
After a day off - a day for Alves to soak in what actually happened and respond to the hundreds of messages he received - the Canes returned to practice. Lack (illness) did not participate, so Alves manned the crease opposite Ward.
After practice, Alves, as you can imagine, was the most popular guy in the room.
He spoke with the media for nearly 10 minutes this afternoon, and I suggest you watch the entirety of that video below.
Video: Jorge Alves: "It's quite a memory"
Before Alves came off the ice following practice, the media spoke with Ward about his friend and goalie partner. Ward said he told Alves before the game, "They don't ask how or why, but you made it to the NHL."
Video: Cam Ward: "He was able to feel that moment"
Jeff Skinner on Alves: "Him along with Bobby, Skippy and Davey, the whole equipment staff, they put in a long hours and a lot of work that sort of goes unnoticed, not by guys in the room but by other people. For him to do that and put on the pads, for what seems like every day now, is huge."
Video: Jeff Skinner: "It was pretty cool for us"
Derek Ryan on Alves: "It touches your heart. You're excited for the guy, even more so because he's such a great guy, such a caring, honest, hard-working guy. It's nice to see someone like that rewarded."
Video: Derek Ryan: "It touches your heart"
The Hurricanes open the New Year by hosting the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena on Tuesday.