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.
Do the Canes players notice when opposing fans are in the stands? Is it a motivating factor? – Hurricanes Boosters (@CHBCHurricanes)
Eric Staal was directly asked about this after Monday night’s game against Chicago, and his answer is worth listening to (1:25 mark) and printing/typing:
Yeah, you can hear them. There are a lot of people that have moved down here from a lot of other areas, and most of them are Original Six teams that they’ve probably been fans of their whole lives. For us, we haven’t won in I don’t know how many years. Our fans are frustrated. I’ve been here when it’s been loud, energetic and awesome. Right now it’s not. But it’s our job as a team and an organization to win these people back. They’ll come back. We’ve got enough hockey fans in the area – I can’t go anywhere without people talking to me about our team. People are there. We just have to win and get them back.
It’s certainly noticeable from my perspective in the press box, but I also think opposing fans, whether large or small in number, challenge our fans to be even louder. From the standpoint of motivation, the competitive game seems to fuel the competitive “game” in the stands, and the atmosphere benefits.
Where is the goal horn located and who controls it? – Carson M. (@Hockey4McGee)
The physical goal horn, which is actually a collection of four horns of varying size, is located in the catwalk above the ice on the North end of the building, around sections 118 and 105. The horn itself is an old vestige of the Hartford Whalers, as it relocated with the team from the Civic Center to North Carolina in 1997.
The red button that controls said goal horn is located in CanesVision’s overlook above sections 333 and 334. The thumb that looms over said red button that controls said goal horn belongs to our Director of CanesVision and In-Game Marketing Chris Greenley.
What are the Canes looking for in the Draft? – DMH (@TwistofFate2552)
From my standpoint, it’s a little early to be diving too deep in to draft preparation, considering there are still 10 games remaining in the season, and we’re still three months off from the Draft.
But a scout’s work is year-round, and the evaluation and tracking of players who will be available in this year’s Draft began years ago and will culminate in the two-day event in Sunrise, Florida, in late June. So what are the Canes looking for?
With what will likely be a top-five pick in the Draft, the Canes will likely aim for the best available player at the time – and it’s probable that’s a solid prospect. With the collection of picks to follow, whether it’s nine or 10, look for the Canes to solidify their depth. Last year, I think the team made a concerted effort to lean towards size when possible, and that’s a strategy that should be employed moving forward, as well.
“We added some size, which was something that we wanted to address,” said Tony MacDonald, the Canes head of amateur scouting, after the second day of the 2014 NHL Draft.
“We went into it hoping we could get a bit bigger. It was nice when some of the guys came up and I was looking up at them,” said Canes Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis at the Draft. “But we weren’t trying to get bigger by sacrificing talent or ability. We think the guys we got are good players, and we think they can skate, which is important in today’s game. And, by all accounts, they’re very character individuals, which is always important to us when we draft players.”
Favorite hockey stick brand? – Ben B. (@Sormy_Canes)
I’m not sure if I have a definitive favorite, but lately I’ve been using Easton sticks in our ball hockey league. The Easton stick I’m using now is one of Patrick Dwyer’s – customized with the large knob at the top – from a few seasons ago. That one is pretty worn down by now, so I’ve got another Easton stick (I believe it’s the Mako 2) ready to go in the near future.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you have any fantasy baseball advice (other than not to do it at all, because it’s too late now), you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).