FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Dec. 22, 2005
RALEIGH, NC – The Czech Republic today announced that Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Frantisek Kaberle has been named to its roster for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. In addition, Switzerland named Hurricanes netminder Martin Gerber as one of three goaltenders on its roster. Hockey Canada announced yesterday that Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal
has been named to the reserve squad for its 2006 men’s Olympic hockey team. Russia will announce its roster for the Olympics later today. All Hurricanes players will be available to the media following practice today, which starts at 11 a.m. at the RecZone on Hodges Street in Raleigh.
Kaberle, 32, leads all Hurricanes defensemen in scoring this season with 18 points (5g, 13a) in 30 games. Signed by Carolina as a free agent in July 2004, Kaberle ranks tied for 26th among NHL defensemen in scoring this season and has two game-winning goals for Carolina. The Kladno, Czech Republic, native has 129 points (25g, 104a) in 339 games in his NHL career.
Gerber, 31, is tied for fourth in the NHL in wins this season with 16. A native of Burgdorf, Switzerland, Gerber ranks tied for third in the league in shutouts (2), eighth in the league in save percentage (.915) and tied for 11th in goals-against average (2.55). Acquired by Carolina on June 18, 2004 in exchange for Tomas Malec and a third-round draft pick, Gerber is 33-29-8 (one shootout loss) in his NHL career with a 2.26 goals-against average.
Staal, 21, currently leads the NHL in goals (24) and is tied for fourth in the league in points (47). He is tied for eighth in the league in power-play goals (9) and tied for first in shorthanded goals (3). The NHL’s Offensive Player of the Month for October, Staal is the fastest player in Hurricanes franchise history to reach the 20-goal and 40-point marks, and has already surpassed Josef Vasicek’s team-leading points total from 2003-04 (45 points). Staal, Carolina’s first-round draft pick (second overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, has points in 26 of the Hurricanes’ 33 games this season.
The first-place Carolina Hurricanes conclude a five-game home stand on Friday against Florida (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network) at the RBC Center. The Hurricanes are unbeaten on the home stand, having defeated Chicago, Columbus, New Jersey and Tampa Bay to improve their season record to 22-9-2, a franchise-best start. Individual game tickets for all Hurricanes games at the RBC Center in November, December and January can be purchased at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets, by calling 919-834-4000 or via CarolinaHurricanes.com. For information on Hurricanes season-ticket packages and mini-season ticket plans, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES.