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.
Could you explain the rules around wearing the alternate jerseys and also the away jerseys at home? – Jamie K. (@jbk_ltd)
NHL teams are permitted to wear their alternate uniforms 12 to 15 times a season. The Canes wore their black thirds 12 times in 2013-14, including once on the road in Florida. In this case, the team had to receive permission from the Panthers to do so.
Similarly, the Canes had to receive permission from Tampa Bay and Columbus to wear their new white sweaters at home.
When planning out and submitting the alternate schedule to the league, a few caveats are considered. The Canes prefer to wear their black third uniform set against opponents who do not wear black pants. Looking at current uniform combinations, that eliminates Anaheim, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Jose. Out of 12 third jersey dates this season, 11 were against non-black teams; the Canes wore their thirds versus New Jersey on Nov. 29 – also Black Friday.
As far as wearing black on the road, as the team did on March 27 in Florida, a one-off trip is ideal since wearing both white and black on a multi-game trip would require lugging two sets of equipment.
For the same reason, wearing white at home is ideal against a team who is on a one-off trip, like Columbus was on March 29 in Raleigh.
Stick tap to Doug Warf, the Canes Vice President of Marketing, for clarifying the finer details.
Is Brett Bellemore a restricted free agent (RFA) or unrestricted free agent (UFA) after this season? – Laura (@PippyTarHeel)
Short answer: he will be an unrestricted free agent.
For the longer answer, stick with me on this one as I’ll try to explain it as best I can without it getting too confusing. Bellemore will qualify as a group six UFA. Here are the criteria for group six status:
1) Age 25 or older. Bellemore is currently 25 and will turn 26 prior to the opening of free agency on July 1.
2) Has completed three or more professional seasons under an NHL contract. This is Bellemore’s fifth professional season and first full season in the NHL.
3) Has played in fewer than 80 NHL games as a skater. Bellemore has skated in 66 NHL games, including 58 this season. Should he play in the team’s remaining six games, he will total 72 NHL games. Note: Due to the shortened 2012-13 season, there are transitional rules for this criterion. Even still, Bellemore’s games played total will come in under the required marker (74).
For all things contracts, be sure to bookmark our regularly-updated contract chart.
What picks does Carolina have at this year’s draft? – Kyle W. (@mosby2622)
Currently, the Canes hold seven picks in this year’s draft. The team is slated to pick once in rounds one, two, three, five and seven and twice in round four. The Canes acquired a fourth-round pick from the Vancouver Canucks in the trade that sent Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh northwest in exchange for Kellan Tochkin. The Kings hold Carolina’s sixth-round pick, which was shipped to Los Angeles with Anthony Stewart and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft for Kevin Westgarth.
Obviously, what is left to decide is the Canes’ positioning. Assuming the team does not qualify for the playoffs, that will be done via the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery, which will take place on Tuesday, April 15 at 8 p.m. on NBCSN, according to Steve Lepore. As a refresher, the lottery now gives the opportunity to land the No. 1 overall pick to all 14 teams that do not qualify for postseason play. The likelihood of each team gaining the coveted first pick ranges from 25 percent for the 30th-place team in the league to 0.5 percent for the 17th-ranked team in the league. More details can be seen here.
NFL or MLB? – Doug A. (@dabrams2021)
This is an easy NFL for me. Though spending the night at the ballpark on a nice summer night is a wonderful pastime, it can’t beat the exhilaration and intensity of the NFL, a sport and a league built for television.
But I do hope my fantasy baseball team does well this year.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.