Back for Another Go-Around
Welcome to the 2019-20 NHL season. We’ve made it, after a preseason shorter than we’ve been accustomed to in these parts for many years. The expectations surrounding the Carolina Hurricanes are higher. The question marks, while maybe fewer in number than last year at this time, are still lurking. Strap yourselves in, because this season will be every bit of a roller coaster ride that, frankly, we haven’t seen in a long, long time.
As we do at the start of every season, we want to thank you for your continued support of the site. Last season was the best in our history by a wide margin, and the momentum from the Canes’ playoff run carried through the summer as you made us a regular stop for Canes news and commentary. For that, we are truly grateful, and we will constantly work to earn your patronage. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: we can’t do what we do without your support, and we thank you for being there.
What does this season hold? We have added two new members to our team and bid farewell to another. Andrew Schnittker graduated from NC State in May and took a position as the sports editor of the Mountaineer, a newspaper in Haywood County west of Asheville. While we will miss him, and it will personally feel very strange not sitting next to him at PNC on press row, we filled his spot with the next best thing: his former deputy sports editor at Technician, Alec Sawyer. Alec is a gifted writer and wonderful storyteller, comes highly recommended by everyone who knows him, and I’m very excited to welcome him to our staff this season. You’ll start seeing his articles over the next few days.
But we weren’t done raiding the Technician offices. This season, we are doubling our photo staff by welcoming Kaydee Gawlik as a contributing photographer. You may have already seen some of her work; the shot of Roland McKeown’s fight that accompanied Saturday’s recap was hers. Kaydee and Jamie will team up this season to give us unparalleled photo coverage; as far as I know we are the only SBN hockey site with two credentialed photographers.
There have also been a couple of staff promotions over the summer. Justin Lape, our longtime Checkers writer, is our newest senior writer. While he will still be covering the Checkers (and now, too, the Swamp Rabbits), he will also be contributing features and columns, while continuing as the cohost of the podcast with Brett. It’s a well-earned promotion for a writer who has made great strides in his time on our staff.
And while this is a promotion, yes, it’s more a reflection of reality catching up with the masthead: Jamie Kellner has been named CC’s deputy managing editor. In short, I can’t run this place by myself, and I wouldn’t want to. Jamie is my indispensable right hand, a sounding board, a trusted advisor and, most importantly, a dear friend. I couldn’t do this job without her.
Please join me in welcoming Alec and Kaydee, and in congratulating Justin and Jamie on their new roles. And, if you’re new to CC or just need a refresher, make sure to check out our community guidelines. They’re the key to making our community vibrant and welcoming. We want you to enjoy yourself here, but we also want to make sure everyone is playing by the same rulebook.
Again, thank you for being a part of Canes Country. The season is upon us. Enjoy.
I Want my FSC
A good number of you mentioned in the comments of yesterday’s Storm Advisory that you were having issues with Fox Sports Carolinas on Spectrum cable. In some places, what should be an HD signal is instead only in standard definition. Some folks are blacked out completely. I thought I should update what we know.
I have confirmed with the Canes that there is no carriage dispute between Sinclair, the new owner of the Fox regional sports networks, and Charter, who owns Spectrum. The Fox people know of no reason why Spectrum subscribers should not be receiving FSC. (In fact, Charter and Sinclair signed a retransmission agreement in June that covers all the Fox RSNs.) That indicates that the problem is on Spectrum’s end, most likely.
There is an ongoing blackout of the Fox RSNs due to no new deal between Dish Network (which includes Sling TV streaming) and Sinclair, and a pending carriage dispute between Spectrum and Tegna, a company which owns no stations in the Raleigh market. Some people who have called or tweeted Spectrum have been told that the FSC issues are related to the Tegna dispute, but this is not the case despite what Spectrum is saying. Tegna has nothing to do with any of the Fox RSNs.
Our best guess - and this is just that, a guess - is that something has gone wrong somewhere at Spectrum that they aren’t aware of, and since they aren’t aware of it they don’t know that anything needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, it may require multiple phone calls to get their attention. If you are affected, please call, tweet, Facebook or whatever Spectrum and make them aware of your problem. You may want to also give the Canes a heads up so they have an idea of how widespread this problem is, and perhaps they or FSC could start asking Spectrum to get their act together. The more noise that’s made - respectfully, of course - the more likely it is that the problems are corrected by the time the Canes take the ice tomorrow night. Good luck; we’re all counting on you.
Yesterday’s News Today
- We now know the Canes’ opening night roster
- John Forslund and Tripp Tracy offer their thoughts on the upcoming season
- Former Hurricane (and Blue, and Coyote, and Bruin, and Ranger, and on and on...) Lee Stempniak announced his retirement yesterday after 14 NHL seasons spent as part of ten teams. [Pro Hockey Talk]
- Hurricanes goalie prospect Jack LaFontaine is back in the Big Ten after a unique sojourn through Canadian junior-B hockey, and he’s ready for his second act in college hockey. [College Hockey News]
- Tom Dundon joined Adam and Joe yesterday and offered, among other things, an update on the preparations the Hurricanes are making to host an outdoor game. [WRALSportsFan (video)]
The @canes gave our #JuniorCanes some great advice before our season started.— Carolina Junior Hurricanes (@JuniorCanes) October 1, 2019
Our youngest players returned the favor with advice of their own for the Canes before the @NHL season.
Opening night Thursday. Youth Hockey Night Sunday. #LetsGoCanes #GrowTheGameNC #CarryTheFlag pic.twitter.com/B6Cgr9lewP
- Alex Steen and Colton Parayko paid a visit to Blues superfan Laila Anderson to deliver a special gift. Have tissues handy. (Seriously. You’ve been warned.)
- The annual We Love the Hurricanes luncheon was yesterday, and apparently Nino Niederreiter has made his decision on the most important choice any North Carolina resident can make.
- The Canadiens’ roster will include two familiar names to Hurricanes fans: Cale Fleury, brother of Haydn, and Nick Suzuki, brother of Ryan. Cale and Haydn will face off against each other tomorrow night. [Eyes On The Prize]
- So that leads to perhaps the most obvious poll question in this site’s history:
Who will score his first NHL goal first?
This poll is closed