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Storm Advisory 5/23/18: Chuck Kaiton’s Future and more NHL News

Why the Canes shouldn’t try to save a buck on Chuck Kaiton’s back, plus Klas has ended and Evander Kane’s big bucks.

Jamie Kellner

The Kaiton Konundrum

Justin will be along with the links here in a few minutes, but I wanted to take a second to address this story by the N&O’s Luke DeCock regarding the future of Chuck Kaiton, the only radio broadcaster this franchise has ever known in its time in the NHL and a Hall of Famer who has earned the right to determine his future on his own terms.

There are a couple of things at play here. First, the contention that Don Waddell made in the article that radio is a bit of an anachronism is correct, to a point. But if that’s the argument, take it to its logical conclusion and just do away with it altogether. The Canes’ radio network consists of one station. It’s just not a significant part of how the Hurricanes can or should be promoted in 2018.

But a simulcast, as has been floated, would be a garbled mess that would serve no one. Go watch a Dallas Stars game on television and you’ll see what I mean. Radio, by its nature, requires a much more descriptive vocabulary to describe things that can’t be seen. TV has the advantage of utilizing both sound and sight, and requires many fewer words to get the same point across. It makes for a much less satisfying viewer experience to have a radio call paired with a TV broadcast. The end result is that both the TV and radio broadcasts would be less accessible: too wordy for TV, too sparse for radio.

If you want to make the point that whenever Kaiton decides to hang up the headset is when the radio exclusive should be done away with, I’m here for that, and that’s perfectly defensible (if not exactly resulting in a satisfying listening experience). But why force the issue now? What good does it do to alienate an iconic member of the franchise? This isn’t Ron Francis, who was reassigned and then fired in remarkably ham-handed fashion but whose job performance certainly merited an evaluation. What has Chuck Kaiton done, other than pull down a salary, to deserve to be put into limbo?

Honestly, this has all the earmarks of floating a trial balloon to see what the reaction would be, and hopefully the reaction from all corners is enough to persuade Waddell and Tom Dundon that forcing this issue is pretty much the textbook definition of penny wise and pound foolish. How could it possibly be worth the significant PR hit to simply save a few bucks?

It beggars belief to think that Chuck Kaiton might not be part of the Hurricanes’ 2018-19 season, and the sooner the powers that be realize that leaving a franchise icon to twist in the wind isn’t worth the savings to the bottom line, the better. - Brian LeBlanc

Reading Assignments

  • Go ahead and make your Klas dismissed jokes, because Klas Dahlbeck is headed to the KHL:
  • More from Chip from Don Waddell: a new addition to the front office, likely to work closely with the statistics staff.
  • And even more from Dandy Don: the guest of honor on the most recent Canes Cast. [Hurricanes]
  • Jeff Skinner recently changed agents, moving from what was the Orr Hockey Group (now part of Wasserman) to Newport Sports Management. [News and Observer]
  • Something called the World Fame 100 list came out. No NHL players were on it. [ESPN]
  • Puck-tracking technology is on its way to the NHL. [Sporting News]
  • With Mark Hunter leaving the Leafs on Tuesday, Brendan Shanahan went into damage control. [ESPN]
  • Game 7 could define Alex Ovechkin’s legacy. [Associated Press]
  • Looks like Evander Kane will be in San Jose for the foreseeable future: