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.
How many Canes from the 2006 Cup team are still in the NHL? – Bill S. (@BillSundheim)
(Bill proceeded to rattle off a few names, but we’ll discuss them all here for the sake of answering the question.)
Just two remain on the Hurricanes’ roster: Eric Staal and Cam Ward. Andrew Ladd, Justin Williams and Matt Cullen remain active around the league, though the latter two are headed for unrestricted free agency.
Craig Adams and Erik Cole both played in 2014-15, but their futures are uncertain; Adams, 38, will reportedly not return in Pittsburgh, and a spinal contusion has cast a cloud of ambiguity on Cole’s career.
Ray Whitney retired in January, Chad LaRose is still active at the AHL level and others are currently playing or have recently played overseas. Martin Gerber, who tallied 38 wins in 60 games played for the Canes in the 2005-06 regular season, has played with the Kloten Flyers of the Swiss A League for the last two seasons. Frantisek Kaberle, who scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal, played in the Czech Extraliga from 2009-12. Mike Commodore was last in the KHL in 2013-14, and Oleg Tverdovsky logged five seasons in the KHL (plus one before it was founded) from 2007-13.
Many others are still involved in hockey in one way or another, including a handful who serves in the front office or in development roles for the Hurricanes. Rod Brind’Amour is, of course, one of the team’s assistant coaches. Glen Wesley heads defensive development, and Cory Stillman is the Director of Forwards Development. Elsewhere, Doug Weight is an assistant coach and an assistant general manager for the New York Islanders, Mark Recchi is a player development coach in Pittsburgh and Kevyn Adams was an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabres and now serves as the Vice President and Director of Academy of Hockey for HarborCenter. Finally, Bret Hedican and Aaron Ward have both found homes in broadcast, with Hedican working in the Sharks’ booth and Ward providing analysis on TSN.
Not a bad group, huh?
Many ailments are now being disclosed by eliminated playoff teams. Can you detail injuries that the Canes played with during the 2006 playoffs? – Carolyn G. (@goCanes_score)
This is turning into a 2006 retrospective, and I don’t mind that at all.
Disclosing previously shrouded or unknown injuries has become quite the pastime after a team’s season ends, especially now in the days of the intentionally vague upper- and lower-body descriptors.
Obviously, there was Erik Cole’s triumphant return in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, merely three-and-a-half months removed from suffering a fractured vertebra. Both Aaron Ward and Doug Weight suffered injuries in Game 5 of the Final; Ward’s was an upper-body concern that he played through for the remainder of the series, and Weight’s was a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for the final two games, even though he did return to the bench in Game 5. Kevyn Adams suffered a broken bone in his forearm blocking what was, in all likelihood, a bomb off the stick of Chris Pronger early in Game 7. But he’s a hockey player, and he played the rest of the game.
Martin Gerber played through and subsequently lost a handful of pounds early in the 2006 playoffs. Ray Whitney also battled his way through a lower-body injury that kept him out of the first game of the playoffs but didn’t impede him the rest of the way.
Best Canes game you have ever watched? – Jonathan W. (@j_wags14)
Well, obviously (and continuing with this week’s theme): June 19, 2006, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, Hurricanes vs. Oilers.
The rest is history, forever immortalized and engraved in the greatest trophy in all of sport.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to further reminisce about the Canes’ magical ride to the Cup in 2006, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).