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.
Mark your calendars! The Hurricanes are planning a weekend celebration on Feb. 12-14 in honor of the 10-year anniversary of winning the Stanley Cup.
While exact specifics are still to be worked out, the team is planning to fly many retired members of the 2005-06 team to Raleigh for that weekend. Doug Weight will be in town with the New York Islanders, as he serves as an assistant coach and an assistant general manager for the club. Several other big-name members of that team, including Ray Whitney and Frantisek Kaberle, are confirmed attendees for the weekend celebration, which will include autograph sessions, pregame ceremonies and more.
Full Season Ticket Holders: when your ticket books arrive next week, flip to the page that includes the Feb. 12 and 13 games against Pittsburgh and New York, respectively. The 10-year anniversary Cup celebration is commemorated there, and I think you’ll like what you see.
On Sunday, Feb. 14, the Hurricanes will host their fifth annual Alumni Game, and it will, of course, be a very special edition, with members of the 2005-06 team taking part alongside paying participants. Again, full Season Ticket Holders will want to check out their ticket booklets for a commemorative Alumni Game ticket.
Plenty of additional details, including a comprehensive list of players who will be in town and a full schedule of events, will be forthcoming as the weekend draws near, but if you’re looking ahead to “must-attend” games, the weekend of Feb. 12-14 is certainly one to note.
As one of the Canes’ newest professional scouts, Whitney will be based in Arizona.
He, along with three others – Jeff Daniels, Mark Craig and Dan Elland – were added to the team’s scouting department earlier this week, as the Canes continue to beef up their eyes and ears around the globe. Last September, the Canes hired Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk to serve as a professional scout and advisor, and former Hurricane Sergei Samsonov was brought on board as a part-time scout based in the Detroit area.
After attracting attention from a number of NHL organizations, Derek Ryan signed his first professional contract in North America with the Carolina Hurricanes in mid-June.
The 28-year-old center played in Europe for the last four seasons. He scored 90 goals in three seasons in Austria, and in the 2014-15 season, he played for Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League. He posted 15 goals and 45 assists, being named the SHL’s Forward of the Year and earning Most Valuable Player honors.
There will be competition for depth forward slots on this team in training camp, and Ryan figures to be in that mix. It’s going to be tough sledding down the middle though, with Eric or Jordan Staal, Victor Rask, Jay McClement and Riley Nash having already established themselves as viable NHL centers.
Because of competing personnel and this being Ryan’s first professional season in North America, my gut tells me he’ll begin the year with Charlotte. However, anything can happen in the three weeks of training camp, and opportunities due to injuries will more than likely present themselves throughout the season.
I don’t have an exact date for you, but I know it will be soon, likely within the next week or 10 days.
Before the full schedule hits the web, here’s a little tease: physicals and off-ice testing will take place Thursday, Sept. 17, and the on-ice portion of training camp will begin on Friday, Sept. 18.
The ice making process begins on Friday, Sept. 11! It’s not October yet, but hockey is oh so close.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here). Need a television binge recommendation? Try “Person of Interest” on Netflix. It’s a super smart artificial intelligence thriller that is way more than a CBS procedural. Also, watch “Mr. Robot” on USA. It’s phenomenal. AI paranoia – or reality, perhaps – is in good hands.