Measured across the 19-year existence of the Carolina Hurricanes, a decade may seem like a proportionately long time, but measured against NHL hockey history, it's relatively short especially when it comes to Stanley Cup championships. In the modern NHL the average drought between championship appearances is 21 seasons. The longest drought is 47 seasons, and twelve active NHL teams, over one third of the teams in the league, have never won a championship. In other professional sports, some of the droughts are longer and even more legendary, and one has to look no further than a few miles down the road to find a pro sports team dealing with the recent agony of defeat after coming so close to sports' ultimate prize. A championship season is a rare and precious commodity, and Hurricanes fans have the opportunity to relive and celebrate a special one this weekend when the Stanley Cup and members of the 2005-06 championship team return for a reunion.
With three days of festivities surrounding games against the Penguins and Islanders on Friday and Saturday (tickets are still available for both), followed by the fifth annual Alumni Fantasy game on Sunday, here's what fans can expect.
2005-06 Stanley Cup Champion Alumni scheduled to appear
Friday, February 12
- 5:00 pm - The weekend kicks off with red carpet arrivals of the 2005-06 Champions. This will take place on the South Plaza of the PNC Arena and is open to the general public, a game ticket is not required.
- 5:00 pm - 6:45 pm - Also on the South Plaza, the Champions Tailgate with the Cup, an exclusive pregame party available via ticket purchase benefitting the Kids 'N Community Foundation. The party will feature an opportunity to meet the 2005-06 players, photo opportunity with the Stanley Cup, presentation by the 2005-06 captains, and food and beverage. Limited tickets are still available and more details can be found below.
- 5:30 pm - Doors open for Friday's game and access to PNC Arena concourse events. All fans in attendance will receive a 2005-06 commemorative poster. Outside Sections 108-110, trophies and 2005-06 memorabilia will be on display through the end of the second period intermission. Trophies in attendance include the Prince of Wales, Conn Smythe, and Selke. The Stanley Cup will also be on the concourse after 7:00 pm.
- 5:45 pm - 6:45 pm - Erik Cole, Niclas Wallin, and Craig Adams will hold an autograph session on the concourse outside Section 108.
- 6:30 pm - 6:45 pm - Player warmups (same as usual time)
- 7:00 pm - Hurricanes vs. Penguins (we'll have the game preview at the regular time tomorrow). Ray Whitney will be the special guest for the first intermission interview.
Saturday, February 13
- 12:00 - 1:30 pm - The Stanley Cup will make a public appearance at Crabtree Valley Mall on the main floor in the promotions court (across from Sears). A professional photographer will be available to take fan photos free of charge, though donations to the Kids 'N Community Foundation will be accepted.
- 5:30 pm - Doors open for Saturday's game and access to PNC Arena concourse events. All fans in attendance will receive a 2005-06 commemorative poster. Outside Sections 108-110, trophies and 2005-06 memorabilia will be on display through the end of the second period intermission. Trophies in attendance include the Prince of Wales, Conn Smythe, and Selke. The Stanley Cup will be on the concourse before 6:45 pm and after 7:15 pm with a break for the pregame ceremony.
- 5:40 pm - 6:40 pm - Glen Wesley, Ray Whitney, Chad LaRose and Andrew Hutchinson will hold an autograph session outside Section 108.
- 5:50 pm - 6:25 pm - Kevyn Adams, Bret Hedican, Craig Adams and Mike Commodore will participate in interviews inside the arena.
- 6:30 pm - 6:45 pm - Player warmups (same as usual time)
- 6:45 pm - 7:15 pm - On-ice ceremony honoring the 2005-06 Stanley Cup Champions
- 7:15 pm - Hurricanes vs. Islanders. Erik Cole will be the special guest for the first intermission interview.
Sunday, February 14
- Celebrate Valentines Day by watching the 2005-06 Stanley Cup Alumni skate with local hockey enthusiasts in the 2016 Alumni Fantasy game. This event is free to the public. Donations to the Kids 'N Community Foundation will be accepted, and anyone donating at least $10 will receive a commemorative Rod Brind'Amour Stanley Cup koozie.
- Doors will open at 12:30 pm and the game begins at 1:30 pm and will run with a standard game clock with three 20-minute periods. John Forslund will provide the play-by-play call and Stormy and the Storm Squad will run game-day events. Concessions will be available. There will be a silent auction and fans will have a chance to bid on or win jerseys off the alumni players' backs. For more details, visit the 2016 Alumni Fantasy game page.
- Hurricanes Fan Zone - 10th Anniversary Cup Celebration [CH.com].
- 2016 Alumni Fantasy Game page [CH.com].
- Champions Tailgate Schedule and Menu [CH.com].
- This weekend is not just an anniversary celebration, it's also a family reunion [CH.com].
- Rod Brind'Amour joined Joe Ovies and Chip Patterson to talk about the Cup reunion [WRALSportsFan].
- Cam Ward reminisces on the 10-year anniversary [WRALSportsFan].
- The Stanley Cup season established the Canes in North Carolina [WRALSportsFan].
- Mike Commodore on life after hockey (two part series from Trending Now Sports) [Part 1] [Part 2].
- Ray Whitney joins the Cheaters Never Win podcast [Section 328].
- Wade Minter, Hurricanes PA announcer and long-time fan, is one of the fantasy players in this weekend's Alumni game, and he's sharing his diary with us [Section 328].
- Mike Maniscalco and John Forslund review the upcoming reunion weekend along with other important Hurricanes topics of the day [WRALSportsFan].
- Finally, a sneak peek at what the 2005-06 Alumni will be wearing this weekend (cool commemorative patch):