The Carolina Hurricanes might have had a couple of days off recently between games, but they have been very busy doing a variety of things on and off the ice during that time frame. I'm going to try to give a little bit of information on several news items and interviews, just in case you might have missed anything.
On Monday night, the Canes held a season-ticket holder event which included an open practice, an autograph session, and a "State of the Canes" address by Peter Laviolette. To see a clip of one of the candid questions in the Q&A session, check out this link.
During their day off on Sunday, Keith Aucoin, Ryan Bayda, and Tim Conboy flew back to Albany and drove their cars and belongings back to Raleigh where they will spend the rest of the season. For more about that, check out this story. The boys certainly deserve to spend the rest of the year here in the big league, but what happens if the team makes the playoffs and some of the regulars get healthy again? That's another question for another day.
A reporter from Topeka interviewed Tim Conboy recently and posted an article in his blog. You can see that here. Apparently, Tim is the only player who played in Topeka to ever make it to the NHL. It's funny how he describes his first NHL fight with bruiser Scott Parker. He said that Parker wanted to go, and wasn't taking no for an answer.
Carolina Hurricanes.com posted a story about how Eric Staal has stepped up his game since the Brind'Amour injury. Read all about that here. Kudos to Eric, who is living up to the hype of being on the cover of a major video game.
Luke DeCock from Lord Stanley's Blog was able to obtain a rare interview with Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos on Tuesday night. To read that interview, you can check this link. Nothing against Karmanos who has done a good job of hiring the right people to run the franchise and for allowing them to do their jobs, but in a perfect world I'd like to see local ownership here. I can't help but think that it would make for a healthier long-term relationship between the franchise and the citizens of Wake County and North Carolina. Maybe he will retire here someday?
The Detroit resident says that the franchise is close to breaking even, or even making money in the regular season. They just need more corporate backing or they need to sell about 1,000 more tickets a night. In my opinion I think that is more than doable with the right marketing, corporate sponsorship or not. Karmanos also claims to read everything Hurricanes related, including Lord Stanley's Blog. Oh well, still no love for Canes Country. :-)
Some of the beautiful girls of the Storm Squad were featured in an "Ice Girls" story on Sports Illustrated.com. Look at the great pics here. Maybe I'm biased, but it's tough to beat those Carolina girls.
CBS Sports has a nice story about Sergei Samsonov at this link. Samsonov is getting more and more attention which of course will drive his contract price higher and higher this off-season. At least we know that Chicago and Montreal won't be bidding for his services.
XM Radio interviewed Erik Cole on Tuesday and a link to that interview is here.
Cam Ward was interviewed as well on Tuesday morning by "99.9 The Fan" and a link to that interview is here.
Finally, one of the Hurricanes top sponsors, the Carolina Ale House is going to offer a "10K Challenge" to the Hurricanes. They will officially announce this at the Cool Bars event for the game at Atlanta on Wednesday night. No this isn't a race. The Ale House will donate $10,000 to the "Kids 'N Community Foundation" if the Hurricanes make it to the playoffs. Then they will continue to make another $10,000 donation for each round that the team advances into. For more information about that, check out this news release.
Hopefully, the team still has some energy for the Thrashers tonight. I'll have my typical pre-game musing up after lunchtime unless there is a catastrophe at work.