RALEIGH, NC—Peter Laviolette, head coach for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today named center Eric Staal and left wing Ray Whitney as two of the team’s alternate captains. Staal and Whitney join defenseman Glen Wesley and left wing Cory Stillman as alternate captains, while veteran center Rod Brind’Amour will continue to serve as the team’s captain. Staal and Whitney will serve as alternate captains during Carolina’s road games, and Wesley and Stillman will wear the “A” on their sweaters at home.
“Both Eric’s and Ray’s talents on the ice speak for themselves,” said Laviolette. “They’ve lead our team in scoring the past two years, but in that time they’ve also become leaders in the dressing room. It’s the right time for them to join the Hurricanes’ leadership group.”
Staal, who will turn 23 on Oct. 29, was drafted by the Hurricanes with the second overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He joined the team following his first professional training camp, and in three NHL seasons with Carolina has scored 86 goals and earned 115 assists (201 points). In 2005-06, he led the team in goals (45) and points (100) during the regular season, and finished tied with Stillman for the team lead in assists (55). During Carolina’s run to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship in 2006, Staal led the NHL in scoring, posting 28 points (9g, 19a) in the Hurricanes’ 25 games. In 2006-07, he ranked third on the team with 30 goals, 40 assists and 70 points.
Whitney, 35, joined the Hurricanes prior to the 2005-06 season and has posted 138 points (49g, 89a) in 144 regular-season games with Carolina. The 15-year NHL veteran, who served as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ captain during the 2002-03 season, established a career-high with 83 points (32g, 51a) in 2006-07 while leading the Hurricanes in scoring and ranking second in goals and assists. Whitney ranked tied for second on the team with Staal and Stillman with nine goals during Carolina’s run to the 2006 Stanley Cup championship.