– 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.
Jordan Staal has been out five weeks. How is he doing, and what are the next steps in his recovery? – Carolyn G. (@goCanes_score)
I talked with Eric Staal on Monday afternoon about this, and he said that his brother is doing well, all things considered.
“He had a doctor’s appointment today. I was texting with him earlier, and he said it went really well,” Eric said. “They’re happy with the progress he’s made, but he still has a long way to go. Positive steps.”
The Staal brothers are accustomed to communicating on the ice or on the bench during Hurricanes games. For the last two weeks with both of them on the sideline, though, their method of communication was a bit different.
“He was texting me a lot during the games when he was watching and I was watching,” Eric said. “It’s no fun for either of us because you want to do everything you can to help.”
It’s still early in Jordan’s recovery process, Eric said, and that’s chief to remember.
“He’s got a long way to go and a long career ahead,” Eric said. “He’s got to recover properly, and that should be his main focus.”
And soon, Eric will be able to communicate with his brother face-to-face, with this extended road trip coming to a close.
“This trip is long, so it’s a long time without anyone around. But he’s been texting me during the games, checking in, seeing how I was doing and where I was at,” Eric said. “He’s keeping a close eye, no question, and we’ll keep him engaged.”
I know some Eastern Conference coaches communicate with their team in Eastern Standard Time on roadies to eliminate confusion. Does Bill Peters adjust or not? – Mason L. (@MasonLyttle)
I can’t speak to what other teams do, but the Hurricanes communicate in local time. So, when we landed in Winnipeg, it was Central Time. In Calgary and Edmonton, it was Mountain Time. And in Vancouver for the last handful of days, it was Pacific Time.
Because athletes, and hockey players especially, are creatures of habit, I’m not sure it makes much sense to communicate in Eastern Standard Time while in other time zones. I think it’s much easier to be on a set schedule of 11:30 a.m. morning skates and 7:00 or 7:30 p.m. games rather than a 1:30 p.m. “morning” skate and a 10:00 p.m. faceoff, as it was on Tuesday in Vancouver.
And today, with cell phones that automatically adjust based on the time zone of the user’s current network, I would think staying on EST would be a bit of a hassle.
Side note: now that we’re finally adjusted to Pacific Time having spent five nights in Vancouver, we get to fly back against the time zones on Wednesday, which should be a doozy.
Speaking of travel …
How are you liking traveling with the team? – Doug A. (@dabrams2021)
Though a win would be great from a morale standpoint, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to provide daily updates of the team while on the road, and I hope you all have as well. (But I will say, if you play the superstition card, the team might just leave me in Raleigh on the next trip.)
In addition to the day-to-day and game-to-game updates to which you’ve grown accustomed, I also want to keep you abreast of what happens away from the rink. Enter the road trip journal, the first of which I penned over the weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Vancouver-centric entry, which should hit the site later this week.
Best media meal so far this year? – Dan M. (@caniac176)
It’s important to note that the Hurricanes’ press meal is perhaps the gold standard in the NHL. But for the best press meal on the road so far this season, I’m going to reach back to the preseason. (Does that apply for this question? I’m going for it.)
It wasn’t #PreseasonForEveryone in Columbus because they brought their A-game on Oct. 1. The main attraction was ribs. Yes, ribs. Usually, meat on the bone is a dangerous game to play in a suit. But this meat was so tender that it fell right off the bone, and it was delicious. The added bonus was soft serve ice cream to finish the meal. Can’t go wrong there.
Well done, Columbus. Don’t let me down in November.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you want to know about the not-so-great press meals, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.