Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.
Let’s get to it.
What was your favorite moment from this past Alumni Game, and which member of the Canes Alumni would you most like to see appear in the event? – Joe R. (@ribar96)
The Alumni Game – and even the entire weekend from the newly added Friday roster reveal party to Sunday’s main showcase – is just a fantastic event from start to finish.
For the alumni, it’s a chance to reunite with old teammates. For the participants, it’s a chance to share the ice with some of the game’s greats and live out a dream for a day. For the fans, it’s a chance to see some favorites in a Canes sweater once again and hear John Forslund call a game live in-arena, of which he did an admirable job on Sunday.
From my perspective, my favorite moment is spending time in the locker room postgame. In each of the three years I’ve been down there, it’s priceless to see the expressions of sheer joy on everyone’s faces, participants and alumni alike.
Specifically, my favorite moment from this year’s game was the game itself, which, in my eyes, was the most competitive alumni match we’ve seen in three years. The all-alumni shift took the game to a new level, but even the skill level among the paying participants was perhaps the highest it has been, as evidenced by the pair of hat tricks. A full recap of the event, including videos and photos, can be found here.
In future years, I’d love to see Kevin Weekes throw on the pads and man the crease in a Canes sweater once again; of course, the goalie position is perhaps the most physically demanding, and Weekes certainly has his hands full around this time of year with his broadcasting gig, at which he excels.
Whenever ageless wonder Ray Whitney decides to hang the skates up, he’d be a terrific personality to have back. And, now that Sami Kapanen has retired, it’d be fun to see him back flying down the ice in the red and white; in his return to the Raleigh ice, Bret Hedican showed that he still had some speed and smooth skating in him. I asked if he was ready to jump back in.
“Oh no. I realize that I’m just a guy that had a lot of fun playing. I have no regrets. I played as hard as I could for as long as I could,” he said. “At some point, your body, brain and mind just say, ‘Enough. You’ve done enough.’”
From your point of view, what is the best and worst part of this final stretch of the season? – Kim (@CarolinaKaniac)
The best part has been seeing the playoff races in both conferences coming down to the wire. With realignment and new playoff formats, it was uncertain what the standings landscape would look like come early April. Here we are, just days from the season’s end, and there are still races to be decided. Though mathematics offered little hope for the Canes from early March onward, they were still technically in the hunt until Tuesday night’s loss in New York. Even in the face of a bleak reality, the team beat some top playoff-bound teams and at least stretched out hope a bit longer.
The worst part is of the same ilk, and that’s simply that the Canes are not going to be playing in the postseason. Now that it’s a mathematical fact, it’s a sobering reality. But, you march on with your best foot forward in the hopes that next season this team will be one of the 16 to qualify to play for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Also considered one of the worst parts is the simple fact that the season is days away from ending. Sure, it didn’t have the best possible outcome. But the journey is always one that you start to miss as the summer creeps on. Come October 2014, the slate is wiped clean and we start anew – and I already can’t wait.
Can you ask Stormy who he was most excited to have at his birthday party and who he missed most? – Liz O. (@emohrberg)
I sure can. Here’s what his ice hog hooves sent back:
He was most excited to have Rufus from the Charlotte Bobcats in attendance, as he is retiring after the season when the Bobcats become the Hornets once again. He missed Thrash from the Atlanta Thrashers (RIP) and Mr. and Ms. Wuf from N.C. State.
(If you missed it, Stormy celebrated his birthday over the weekend. Here’s some video from his party.)
The "Draft Day" movie based on the Browns comes out Friday. If a movie was made on the Canes, what actors do you see in the film? – KP Kelly (@CardiacCaneKP)
This was a fun question, so we had some fun with it.
It should be noted that we’re dealing strictly with lookalikes; these choices aren’t plot or character driven because, well, we don’t really have a screenplay. Though having Christopher Nolan direct the film would be OK with me.
So here we go. Head coach Kirk Muller would be played by Aaron Eckhart, specifically Eckhart as Harvey Dent. Jordan Staal, especially when examining his bobblehead, would be played by Neal McDonough. Erik von Detten would be cast as Elias Lindholm.
On defense, Bradley Cooper would be cast as Ron Hainsey, David Beckham would play Mike Komisarek and Joey Fatone would play Justin Faulk. (Side note: Does Beckham act? I’m not counting “Bend it Like Beckham.” Same with Fatone, who is currently the announcer for “Family Feud.”)
In casting twists, Patrick Dwyer would play John-Michael Liles, and John-Michael Liles would assume the role of Patrick Dwyer. Jiri Tlusty would play himself, because he’s already done that.
Employing a couple of alumni cameos, Glen Wesley would be played by David Caruso (or Phil Simms if he’s got some acting chops), and Vince Vaughn would be cast as Bret Hedican.
Finally – because this is inevitably a superhero-type flick – The Hurricane would play himself.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.