There's nothing better than a wild hockey game, right? Well wait a second, how about a wild hockey game that's for free? The Carolina Hurricanes made a great announcement for their fans earlier today. The first exhibition game this year scheduled on Sunday, September 16th against the Washington Capitals, will be free! The pre-season game will be a part of the annual Caniac Carnival, the popular event which gives fans the chance to get player autographs, purchase memorabilia and used equipment, listen to live music, participate in inter-active games, take tours behind the scenes at the RBC, as well as enjoy several other functions. Team management offered a free game 2 years ago after the lockout, but skipped that practice last year. If the ticket distribution method works the same as it did the last time, season ticket holders will get tickets for their normal seats, then tickets for the remaining seats will be handed out on a first come, first served basis. If you want to take advantage of this offer, plan on getting to the RBC early! The Carnival is always attended by thousands of fans and I'm sure this year will be no different. The tickets are sure to go fast. The rest of the pre-season schedule rounds out with another game against the Caps, this time in Washington, then home and home games against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators. It's nice to see some variety this year instead of the typical games against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Florida. For more information and the exact dates of the games, click on this link or check the Hurricanes news feeds on the right sidebar.
I finally had a chance to add Jeff Hamilton to the salary chart located on the left side bar. The total projected money out of pocket so far this year is about 42.5 million which still leaves about a million and a half left for Jim Rutherford to spend, and still keep within his internal budget. In a News and Observer article yesterday, the Hurricanes' general manager hinted that he was not finished tinkering with the lineup. He said that a trade he had been working on for the past couple of weeks was still alive. I guess the mystery defenseman, (?Nic Wallin?), still hasn't decided whether or not he will waive his no trade clause? Isn't there some kind of time limit for this type of decision making? Rutherford also alluded to the fact that he might be acquiring a 3rd line center via trade, not free agency. That's mysterious! I wonder who the target might be? Regardless, it seems like he would still prefer an upgrade over Hamilton taking over those duties, (just like me). Don't get me wrong, I think signing Hamilton was a good move. The money was right and he has good scoring skills. I just think it's hard to expect him to score 50 to 60 points in an NHL season when he has never done it before. Rutherford himself said that was the projected scoring of what he'd like to get out of his 3rd line center this coming season. It will be interesting to see what JR does and if he can pull something off here.
I'm finally back from vacation and what a wonderful vacation it was! Now I will have some time to make updates here more regularly and to answer some emails that I received which I have not yet had the chance to reply to. Thank you for your patience! Soon I will update the UFA listing and as I mentioned in a previous post, will review some of the absurd free agent signings over the past week or so. We'll also take a look at what some ex-Hurricanes are up to. For instance, the "bionic man", Sean Hill has a new gig while the "working man", Kevyn Adams is currently unemployed. Wild stuff! Have a good one.