John Buccigross, of ESPN fame, recently put together a list of hockey royalty for each franchise in the NHL. He calls his creation the "Ultimate NHL Mt. Rushmore List". The writer has some interesting selections throughout, but let's take a look at who he chose to be immortalized from the Hurricanes.
- First of all he selected Kevin Dineen, the team's first Captain after moving to Carolina. Buccigross calls Dineen, "hockey heart and soul" and it would be tough to argue that description. While his stats in Carolina were less than awe-inspiring, (121 games, 15 goals, and 26 assists), he was a prolific scorer for the Whalers back in his prime and was a very good leader for the Canes.
- Next up is Hall of Famer, Ron Francis, which is a "no-brainer" pick. He describes Francis as being "hockey royalty, the greatest Whale of them all". There is no need to say much more than that.
- Also selected was Rod Brind'Amour, the team captain when the Canes won the Stanley Cup. Brind'Amour was awarded the Selke Trophy twice while with the Hurricanes and is known as another "heart and soul" guy. "Bucci" calls the center, "a coach's dream, the ultimate self motivator".
- The final pick was Eric Staal, the superstar who recently signed the longest and highest paying contract in franchise history. The potential is there for Staal to be an all-time great, but he is still young. He is described by Buccigross as being "a stallion on skates". He certainly looked that way last night in Buffalo.
Just for discussion sake, I will throw out a few names for Honorable Mention:
Arturs Irbe - Leads the franchise in wins for a goaltender. He was a workhorse for a few years and almost carried the team on his back at times.
Jeff O'Neill - Still holds a few Canes scoring records and was instrumental in the 2002 Stanley Cup run.
Paul Coffey - The only other Hall of Famer to wear a Hurricanes jersey, (not counting Whalers), he was near the end of his career at Carolina but at one time was one of the best.
Glen Wesley - Played more games than anyone else for Carolina, (again not counting the Whalers) and had many great moments. He will have his number retired tomorrow night.
Cam Ward - Is fast approaching Irbe's win record and is the only player in franchise history to win the Conn Smythe award.
So who did Buccigross miss that you would have selected, and why?