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Tweetmail No. 58: Ears, Trading Up & Food

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – 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.

Before we get started, this will be the last edition of Tweetmail. It’s been a fun ride. Thanks to all who have sent in questions in the last year. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!

Now, let’s get to it.

Can you discuss whether other players are considering adding ear protection? – Jamie K. (@jbkellner)

This is a timely subject, considering the news of Riley Nash’s concussion, which he sustained after taking an errant puck to the ear during warm-ups on Sunday.

Jeff Skinner now wears a plastic ear protector on either side of his helmet. He also took a puck in the ear during warm-ups on Feb. 14 in Minnesota.

“It’s a pretty freak accident. I’ve been here five years and only seen guys get hit in warm-ups twice, and both have happened this year. It’s a tough bounce,” Skinner said. “For me, it kind of glanced off the side of my helmet and then hit my ear, so I was pretty lucky that way.”

When the Canes faced off with the Senators in Ottawa on Feb. 16, Skinner was sporting the ear protection.

“I don’t mind it. I put it on, and it didn’t bother me, so I just kept it on,” he said. “I put it on because it was a little sore, and I didn’t want to get hit there again while it was still sore, and I’ve just kept it.”

An extra layer of protection never hurts, and it’s something he is familiar with, even if it’s been a number of years since wearing them.

“You can feel it there, but it doesn’t make much difference. I wore them in junior – everyone wore them in junior – so I had them on my helmet then,” he said. “I don’t really notice it now.

“I think some guys are giving me a hard time about it, but I don’t think they will anymore,” he added with a smile.

So, to address the question: have any other players considered adding it? I asked Canes equipment manager Bob Gorman if any players had approached the equipment staff since Nash’s injury, and he said they had not. Not surprisingly, you’ll probably see ear protection on No. 20’s helmet when he returns to the ice. And, as a bit of trivia, Gorman said the last Hurricane to wear ear protection was Jussi Jokinen.

Do you think the Canes would trade up to get a second or third overall pick? – Eugene D. (@B_Low_)

I don’t think trading up is a situation that can be completely ruled out, but I’m not sure how feasible it would be, especially considering the likely asking price.

I don’t think the first or second picks are going anywhere. Those might as well be untradeable.

The third overall pick is where the discussion could begin, but the question then becomes: is the difference between third and fifth or sixth worth it? Even with no real inside knowledge, I would have to imagine the going rate is pretty steep – likely too steep – for the Canes or many other teams to even consider the option.

At the same time, the Hurricanes will have at least 10 and as many as 11 picks in this year’s draft, as it currently stands. In terms of that currency, they are one of the richer teams this year, but picks alone likely won’t do the trick. What’s perhaps more likely with the stockpile of picks the team has is – in the event Los Angeles makes the playoffs and the first-round pick the Hurricanes received in exchange for Andrej Sekera transfers to 2016 – trading up to get back in to the first round for a late pick.

Whether the Canes make all 10 or 11 selections with their picks or choose to move some in a package deal, they are great assets to have.

Did you go to Georgetown Cupcake? Y/N – Evan L. (@evanlucy)

N, but I hear they stay busy pretty much all the time, so they must be doing something right.

I did go to District Taco for lunch on a whim, and it was scrumptious. If you like Qdoba, Chipotle and the like, you’ll really dig District Taco. ¡Orale!


April Fools, of course, on this being the last edition of Tweetmail. I’ll see you again next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you want to tell me how bad of an April Fools’ joke I had, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).

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