Matt Cullen used the term when told about his trade. Future Hall of Famer, Ron Francis uses the term as well when he talks about Raleigh. More and more past and current professional hockey players are calling North Carolina home. They are finding the same thing out that ordinary folk who have been moving here by the thousands have recognized, Raleigh, North Carolina isn't a bad place to call home! The News and Observer ran a good story about the trend, as they reported how Aaron Ward and his family recently moved from their home in Detroit, to their new permanent digs in Cary. Ward doesn't even play for the Canes anymore. He was recently traded by the Rangers to the Bruins. Other players, past and present who live in the area include Bates Battaglia, Steve Halko, Robert Kron, Ron Francis, and Glen Wesley. Even more are looking into moving here, like Tom Barrasso. Come on down boys, the more the merrier!
The dust has settled a bit on the Cullen deal and while most fans seem thrilled, there are a few unhappy about the transaction for one reason or the other. While I realize that the deal could have negative salary implications in the future, I still like the trade. I really don't think the Canes gave up very much in assets and compared to some other contracts recently handed out, 2.8 million isn't that much of an over-payment. I think Cullen brings a lot more to the table other than just playing on the 3rd line. I really look forward to watching him play regularly again. Someone over at HF boards posted the link to a cool youtube flick of Cullen highlights. Check it out!
Another recent article in the News and Observer quoted Rutherford as saying that he was pretty happy with the roster as is, and was probably done tinkering with it until training camp. Those of us who know the history of Jim Rutherford know that this statement is pretty much meaningless. Personally, I'm still a bit concerned with the defense. If everyone is 100% healthy and stays that way, the Canes might be okay. After last year's debacle though, conventional wisdom would dictate that won't happen. This week, John Forslund was quoted on 850 the Buzz as saying that Bret Hedican was only 50/50 on coming back healthy. In my opinion, those aren't very good odds when you're counting on someone to play a very physically demanding position. I still don't expect Bret to give up, but I hope Rutherford has got David Tanabe on speed-dial just in case we need him. The problem is, Tanabe can't wait forever for that call.
In other news, the Penguins signed Ty (here, I don't want it, you take it), Conklin. It's kind of interesting that the Sabres signed the Pens ex back up goalie Thibault after Pittsburgh let him go, and then after Buffalo let Conklin go, the Pens signed him. One team's trash is another team's treasure!
Is everyone else happy the weekend is almost here? TGIF!