What better way to end the busiest day of the preseason than by breaking a couple of bits of news during the Carolina Hurricanes’ Canes Corner program at Backyard Bistro and on 99.9 The Fan on Tuesday night?
Coach Bill Peters, during his appearance with GM Ron Francis and new Canes employee Mike Maniscalco (more on that in a second), announced that the Canes have decided to not name a captain for the 2016-17 season. Instead, the Canes have named four alternate captains, two permanent and two sharing a rotating slot.
Forward Jordan Staal and defenseman Justin Faulk will serve as permanent alternate captains this season. The third slot will be filled by Jeff Skinner when the Canes play at home, and by Victor Rask when the team is on the road.
Now, onto news that was not altogether unexpected but is welcome nonetheless: Mike Maniscalco, unceremoniously dumped by The Fan in June, will be joining the Canes as a team employee this season. Mike will serve as the host of Hurricanes LIVE pregame along with Shane Willis, and will also serve as a locker room reporter and web host for gameday skates and other team events.
Mike replaces Michelle McMahon, who left the Canes after one season to take a position with NHL Network in New Jersey. He most recently hosted a syndicated college football radio program on IMG Sports in Winston-Salem, which he will leave behind in order to join the Canes full time.
On a personal note, no one in this market has the inroads that Mike has made with the team in his nine years covering the Canes. He's an outstanding reporter and an even better person, which is a rare combination in any broadcast professional. The outpouring of enthusiasm on Twitter upon this news breaking is indicative of the high regard Mike is held in by Canes fans, and every bit of it (and then some) is warranted. I couldn't be more thrilled for Mike, and I am honored to call him a friend.
The team press release follows.
RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that Mike Maniscalco will join the Hurricanes as TV/Web Host. Maniscalco will host Hurricanes LIVE! prior to all of the team's games on FOX Sports Carolinas and FOX Sports Southeast, and will host video content for CarolinaHurricanes.com.
Maniscalco is a nine-year veteran of sports media in the Triangle, and hosted the popular pregame and postgame shows surrounding the Hurricanes' radio broadcasts from 2007-16. He also has served as host of the Canes Corner radio show, an on-location, hour-long interview show that helps connect members of the Hurricanes organization and the team's fans.
"Our television broadcasts on FOX Sports Carolinas, along with the online content on CarolinaHurricanes.com, give us our best avenues to connect with fans," said Waddell. "Since his arrival in Raleigh, Mike has excelled at telling the stories of our athletes and the NHL, and making that connection between the team and our fans. We could not be more excited that he will continue to do so in this role."
Prior to relocating to Raleigh, Maniscalco was the afternoon drive host at WRNL in Richmond, VA, from 2001-07. He began is broadcasting career in his hometown of Buffalo, NY, serving as an on-air host and assistant production director at WRG 550, from 1996-01. Maniscalco most recently worked as an on-air personality and coordinating producer for IMG College Sports. He is a 1997 graduate of Buffalo State College.