7 in 7: Lucky 7

The Hamburglar is a real thing and you can’t stop him. Devan Dubnyk makes you want to become a Wild fan and I’m officially pulling for the Panthers to make the playoffs because they are the little engine than can!

1. The 30 in 30 Season Ticket Holder Renewal prizes have been awesome! From winning a lunch date with GM Ron Francis to sounding the siren before a home game, the lucky people who win one of these are going to remember it forever! Derek and Susan Caldwell won the trip to join the team in Columbus last week and they have a great story! After a win in Ohio, coach Peters cut video in our broadcast that showed the couple in the stands at Nationwide Arena and went back to show them as the plane was landing, as Susan was watching, she didn’t hold her salad tight enough and her plate of food dumped everywhere. Luckily everyone was safe and stain free. We all left the plane laughing!

2.  Jorge Alves was filling in when Cam Ward was out with his illness.  It’s really amazing what this guy can do.  He came to NC thanks to the military.  He played on the club hockey team while attending NC STate, then played in the SPHL, ECHL being a part-time equipment manager for minor league teams.  Just 3 years ago he became a full-time employee for the Canes.  He is an incredible person to be around.  Always happy, helpful and hilarious! He can literally do anything- from sewing to stopping NHL shots.  I’ve got more on him later…

3. The Canes’ Alumni Game is a weekend like no other! There were 12 non-alumni participants that returned from past years to donate to the Kids N’ Community Foundation and play with familiar faces. New to this year’s event for former players were Sergei Samsonov, Nic Wallin, Stu Grimson and Steve Smith. As for the fans who got to play, what a bunch! Paul Lawson came all the way from Scotland and when telling his friends he would be making the trip to the states to play, he had a little fun with his friends, with a “wee” bit of the stretch of the truth, telling them he would be ‘playing for an NHL team.’ One of the goaltenders this year, who just graduated from James Madison got to play in the game as a graduation present from his parents. 11-10 final and a ton of fun!

4. The HAMBURGLAR has become quite the story this season. Andrew Hammond earned this nickname during his time at Bowling Green when his teammates said he would ‘steal’ them wins. He won 9-straight starts and that earned him respect around the league and got him free local McDonald’s for life! I had to ask- the 27-year-old said he takes lettuce, mustard, ketchup and cheese on his burger! ha!

5. My first 10k was a success! Steve Smith and I ran 6.2 miles in under 56 minutes, beating our training pace. He’s a great motivator and filled with so much good energy that you HAVE to keep the pace to hear his great stories. Onto a half marathon now!

6. Danny Biega made his NHL debut in his hometown, Montreal. Bell Centre was where he grew up going to games and he even played a tournament there. In 2010, at the scouting combine he topped the 150 prospects in the fitness testing. Even then, he was getting questioned about whether he was a ‘hockey player’ or simply a ‘Ivy league student.’ He played 4 years at Harvard and even played a game on the SAME power play with 2 of his brothers! He said the doubts people had about his start make getting to the NHL that much more satisfying. Love it!

7. Congrats to John Forslund on 20 years in the booth! He has such a big impact in the Canes’ organization. Always prepared and always bringing his A game.  Here’s our pre game show producer, Chad, imitating John with sideburn, black hair, glasses and all!

Denis OSullivan