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Tweetmail No. 229: Numbers, Off Days & Waivers

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Hello and welcome to Tweetmail, 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.

Let's get to it, and first up is a question we weren't able to get to last week.

How are numbers assigned to prospects? Do they get first choice of available numbers? When are they allowed to switch? - @HHandorf

Numbers are assigned to prospects by the equipment staff, with the exception being some first-round draft picks, like Andrei Svechnikov. He was the second overall pick, and it was fairly clear that he was going to make the big club out of training camp. He wanted to wear No. 37, so he got No. 37.

Other prospects receive whatever available number is assigned to them, typically during development camp for the crop of newly drafted players. These numbers, of course, are usually higher in numerical value. Players are then given the opportunity to switch to more "standard" NHL numbers when they make the team. Jaccob Slavin, for example, was assigned No. 74 as a prospect, but he elected to hang onto it. Martin Necas, on the other hand, sports No. 88 because it's his favorite number.

Sometimes there is a good story behind a player's jersey number; other times it's just the sweater they were handed when they first walked in the door.

Speaking of last week's Tweetmail, I was asked about Movember mustaches, and I reported that there wasn't many a muzzy inside the Canes room. The best was Jordan Martinook, who can grow a mean lip broom, but I'm sad to report that he shaved it off in Chicago. The Canes' mustache game just took a nosedive.

With that in mind …

When the team is on a road trip and manage to get multiple days in one particular city like Chicago, how is it spent? Do players go off and do their own thing when not at practice, or is there typically an activity that was already scheduled between the guys? - @justinlockard26

Grooming seemed to be somewhat of a theme in Chicago. Not only did Martinook shave the 'stache, but Jordan Staal also chopped his hair off. It's true. The glorious flow is no more. It's a real sharp cut he's got now, but I do miss the locks, probably because I was envious of his ability to grow that sort of mop in the first place.

Sunday was an off day in Chicago, which allowed everyone to rest and go about the day as they pleased. And, of course, in a city like Chicago, there's no shortage of things to do. Shopping was another popular item on the list, whether guys snagged a new jacket or crossed some early Christmas presents off their lists. I unfortunately spent the day watching the Carolina Panthers fumble their playoff hopes, so that was just so much fun.

Practice was scheduled for Monday, which blocks off a decent portion of the day with travel to the rink, preparations for practice, practice itself and travel back to the hotel. Plus, there was the whole dress at one rink and practice at another routine; it's always amusing walking onto a bus filled with fully-dressed hockey players.

Tweet from @Canes: Jaccob "Buckets" Slavin 🏀

The boys were able to take advantage of the basketball court being down at United Center for a little hoops shoot-around before practice. Later that evening, a few of us took in the actual professional basketball game. Giannis Antetokounmpo is indeed a freak, and Coby White's three-point prowess in the fourth quarter made these Tar Heels proud.

So, to answer your question, a lot of time spent on the road consists of players doing their own thing, whether alone, with friends or family or as a group, like when a handful of guys went to the Mall of America to play mini-golf after practice in Minnesota on Friday.

Is Andrei Svechnikov actually Wayne Gretzky? - @fanofthecakes

Well, now that you mention it, has anyone ever seen them in the same room at the same time?

Video: CAR@CHI: Svechnikov snipes goal into the top shelf

But seriously, it's been a treat to witness Svechnikov's growth in his sophomore season. Just ask the head coach.

"He's getting better and better every night. That's what's amazing to watch. He's just getting so confident out there to make plays," Rod Brind'Amour said. "He wants to be a superstar, I think, and he's heading in the right direction."

Svechnikov is tied for the team lead in goals (10) and points (23) through 21 games. To think, too, that he's just 19 years old. Wowza.

What is the process for players like Brian Gibbons who have to clear waivers? Are they just in limbo for 24 hours? - @chilzz919

Yeah, sort of, but it also depends on the player and situation.

In Brian Gibbons' case, the Canes planned to assign him to Charlotte given that he cleared waivers. In the 24 hours between he was placed on waivers and when word on his clearance was disseminated, preparations were made for him to rejoin the Checkers. Each day at noon, the league sends its waiver wire email, which includes the names of players put on waivers that day and those who have been cleared or claimed from the day prior.

In the case of, say, Phil Di Giuseppe last October, the Canes placed him on waivers without the intention of immediately assigning him to Charlotte. So, instead of him preparing to make the drive west on I-40 to I-85, Di Giuseppe remained with the team in Raleigh. This happened again on New Year's Eve, when he was then claimed by the Nashville Predators on New Year's Day, at which point the Predators made contact with Di Giuseppe in order to get him to Nashville as soon as possible.

Where did the 1950s disaster movie sounding audio come from in the Canes intro video? I did some searching but never figured it out. - @RangerRick

"Notice … the enormous forces … of nature."

Video: Carolina Hurricanes 2019-2020 Open Video

The vocal track you hear is Professor Julius Sumner Miller, sampled from ABC's classic science television program, "Why Is It So?"


Join me next week for more questions and more answers.

If you have a question you'd like answered or you were an avid viewer of "Why Is It So?," you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes, or you can drop me an email.

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