Approximately 2,000 fans circled the Entertainment and Sports Arena concourse, met players and had Hurricanes memorabilia signed by all members of the 2000-01 squad.
Following the player autograph session fans were able to tour the Hurricanes locker room, take a slapshot on the ice and take pictures on the Olympia ice resurfacing machine.
Coach Paul Maurice addressed the assembled crowd from the ice prior to the autograph session and other activities.
“It’s always nice to have some kind of contact between the fans and the players,” said Maurice. “Every time you do that there’s another connection to the city, there’s another connection with the fans and we feel more involved with the community.”
The Hurricanes players signed hundreds of autographs during the hour-and-a-half autograph session and took pictures with anxious fans.
Wingman Scott Pellerin, the Hurricanes newest member, enjoyed his first interaction with Hurricanes fans and Triangle residents.
“Coming in just recently and only playing a couple of home games I hadn’t really gotten a feel for the fans,” said Pellerin. “Everybody that I met was really enthusiastic and came out to meet all of the players. I got, ‘Oh, you’re the new guy,’ a couple of times. It was pretty fun. Everybody had a good time and I was excited to get to meet some of the people that live in the area.”
The Hurricanes leading goal scorer and alternate captain Jeff O’Neill echoed Pellerin’s sentiments on interacting with the fans.
“It’s good to get on a personal level with the fans and get to meet them and they find out a little about you,” said O’Neill. “For me, the most important thing is the kids that are there. They were really excited to get their stuff signed and they look up to a lot of guys in this locker room. It was good to be able to sign some stuff for them.”
Carolina Hurricanes Website Reporter Kyle S. Hanlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.