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Tweetmail No. 46: Dads Trip, Moms Trip & Start Times

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on 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’s it like with the dads on the road trip? – Kurt C. (@presserofOZ85)

The Canes’ annual fathers trip is always a special and fun time. It’s a unique opportunity for fathers to experience life on the road with their sons.

This year, 15 dads accompanied their hockey-playing sons, with Henry Staal pulling double-duty. Assistant general managers Mike Vellucci and Ricky Olczyk and assistant athletic trainer Doug Bennett also had their fathers on the trip, assistant coach Steve Smith brought along his son and video coach Chris Huffine brought his brother.

Dan Rask made the trip over from Sweden to accompany his rookie son, Victor, to Nashville, and David McClement and Jim Malone got to take their first trips with the Canes. Though he didn’t get to see his son, a former Predator of five games, play, Richard Boychuk was also on his maiden voyage.

A team dinner with the dads kicked off the festivities on Monday night in Nashville. On Tuesday morning, the fathers took in the morning skate before getting a group picture on the ice. After lunch, they toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Studio B before heading back to the rink for the game.

CanesVision was along to document the trip from start to finish, so you’ll see a host of behind-the-scenes footage coming your way soon.

Have the Canes ever considered a moms trip? – Liz O. (@emohrberg)

Yes, it has indeed been considered, tossed around in discussions and never ruled out. While there are no distinct plans laid out just yet, it’s a possibility for future seasons.

The Penguins, Wild, Blackhawks, Canucks and Canadiens are a handful of teams that have taken moms on a road trip in the past few seasons.

Should the Canes host a moms trip at some point in the future, whose mom are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.

Why is 7:30 the worst start time in hockey? – Andrew D. (@AndrewRDeWitt)

Before we get to the whys, let’s first peruse my rankings of common start times. A few notes: one, this is from a writer/web producer’s perspective, as opinions can vary wildly depending on your role (broadcaster, player, fan, etc.); two, this is local time because, obviously, 10:30 p.m. EST games are bad for folks in EST.

So here is my definitive list of common start times, ranked:

  1. 1:00 p.m.
  2. 7:00 p.m.
  3. 3:00 p.m.
  4. 5:00 p.m.
  5. 8:00 p.m.
  6. 7:30 p.m.

1 p.m. is the far-and-away winner, the pinnacle of start times. You wake up, get to the rink and get after it. The game is over by the mid-afternoon, and the evening and night are in front of you. If I were King of Hockey, all games would start at 1 p.m.

7 p.m. is the old tried and true. Don’t mess with what works. It’s a routine, and that’s why it ranks so high. Otherwise, you could probably drop it at least a spot in favor of the 3 p.m. afternoon start time, which isn’t as good as 1 p.m., but the game is still over in time for dinner.

5 p.m. is caught in the middle of being an afternoon game and a night game. And, for selfish reasons, it puts the press meal right smack dab in the middle of the afternoon.

Then we get to the distant five and six on the list of start times. 8 p.m. is a distant No. 5. It’s no good. Don’t do it.

But, if there is a worse start time, it’s 7:30 p.m, even if it begins and ends 30 minutes earlier than an 8 p.m. faceoff. Games should start on the hour, plain and simple. It makes it easier for us all. Again, if I were King of Hockey, 7:30 p.m. starts would be immediately abolished. On the hour or bust. That’s a scientific fact.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to start a petition to make all games start at 1 p.m., you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or email if Twitter isn’t a good option).

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