Welcome to a Carolina Hurricanes season unlike any other we’ve ever gone through.
A franchise legend is the head coach. Longtime stalwarts, both in the front office and in the locker room, have moved on to pastures new. The locker room is renovated. The owner is openly, and in some cases proudly, flouting the typical Hockey Man convention of The Way Things Should Be Done. A cast of new, young players could either be a ticket to great success or a pending collapse under the weight of great expectations - and no one knows which will happen.
And yet, the buzz around the fan base is undeniable. No one has any idea what to expect, and I for one can’t wait to see it unfold.
We at Canes Country promise you that we will be here to chronicle it all. As the season unfolds, we’ll bring you coverage from the rink, plus insights you won’t get anywhere else. Here’s what we have on tap for you this year:
- Game Night: Our goal is to have every home game covered on scene at PNC Arena this year. That means more postgame analysis, quotes from the night’s headline players and coach Rod Brind’Amour, and live commenting in the nightly game discussion post.
- About Last Night: Our popular morning-after analysis of the previous night’s game will continue. Cody Hagan, Jake Crouse and Andrew Schnittker will analyze what went right, what didn’t, and why the game went the way it did.
- Exclusive photos: Jamie Kellner wears many hats at Canes Country, but among the most important is her role as our staff photographer. We are privileged to feature her pictures atop many of the articles we publish (including this one!) and her Smugmug site is a veritable treasure trove of Canes content. If you appreciate sports photography - or even if you just enjoy thumbing through occasionally - you would be well served to bookmark it.
- Expanded Checkers coverage: Justin Lape will again be our man on the scene in Charlotte to cover a Checkers team that has high expectations this season. One of our goals this year is to expand Checkers coverage to make Canes Country a destination for both NHL and AHL fans, and Justin will be leading that charge.
- Canes Country Podcast: Back for a second season, Justin and Brett Finger will team up for weekly podcasts yet again. It’s the easiest way to take Canes Country with you wherever you go. Expect special guests and maybe a surprise or two as the season unfolds. We have big plans for the CC Pod and can’t wait to share them with you down the road.
- Our popular weekly content, including Zeke Lukow’s Metro Roundup, Andy House’s Behind Enemy Lines, By the Numbers which will now be penned by Andrew Ahr, Kevin LeBlanc’s Prospect Corner, Liam Goff’s Local Hockey Spotlight, and Brett’s Quick Whistles column will all return as well.
- Practice coverage: We plan to expand our coverage of Canes practices this season. Among other things, this will allow us to go more in depth on player profiles and expanded long-form content above and beyond what we’ve done in the past. One of our goals this season is to be able to tell more stories behind the normal news and analysis that you’ve come to expect from CC.
- Storm Advisory: I’ll be honest, when we launched Storm Advisory last summer I had no idea how popular it would become. It is almost always our highest-trafficked post of the day. We encourage you to post articles that you find and would like to share in the comments of SA posts, and chances are you’ll see it in the next day’s SA post. The SA comments section is also our community water cooler, where you’re free to chat about anything on your mind, hockey or otherwise. (Just keep it reasonable!)
A friendly reminder, too: the comments are a great thing, but please always remember to be respectful of your fellow fans. We know that emotions can run high at times, but always remember that there’s an actual person sitting at a keyboard at the other end. Don’t be a jerk, don’t troll, and don’t go after other posters - disagree with their opinions, sure, but not their mere existence. “I disagree with your opinion and here’s why” is fine - encouraged, even. “Your opinion is wrong”...not so much. “You are an idiot who knows nothing about hockey” is even further out of line. Know where the line is, and help keep our comments in bounds.
Also, I’d like to encourage anyone who thinks about posting a long comment (like, something that would be the length of an article) to consider posting it as a FanPost instead. FanPosts are visible on the front page of Canes Country, and will be seen by more people there than would ever see it in a comments section. We strongly encourage the use of FanPosts, and will spotlight high-quality FanPosts in Storm Advisory as often as possible.
The CC staff is excited about this season and the coverage we have lined up for you. Our deepest gratitude goes out to each and every reader; you are the reason we do what we do, and we truly appreciate your continued support of our coverage. Feel free to hit the inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s ever anything we can help you with.
Enjoy the season, and go Canes!