Tonight was the 4th Annual Hurricanes Summer Fun Fest so while the Caniacs remaining at the event are re-watching a Canes and Sabres 2006 Eastern Conference playoff game, I am sharing a bit of a recap of the State of the Canes address. The address was hosted by our John Forslund and carried on 99.9 the Fan with Mike Maniscalco.
The mercury was still hovering in the 90′s during tonight’s address and as Rod Brind’Amour later put it, “It’s Africa hot out here.” Mike mentioned how Caniacs are disappointed about the season starting. (Wait fans! Let him finish!) He clarified that it wasn’t starting in Helsinki. It’s no secret that Caniac trip was a huge success. Did John go to Helsinki? No. John reminded us he got to go to Stamford, CT. At this point Mike Maniscalco gave what I believe to be the Quote of the Day; “Stamford, CT is the Finland of the United States.”
John answered some questions from the crowd and gave his thoughts on the team. When asked about Joe Corvo’s departure he said he wasn’t sure what a “soft request” was. “Please trade me?” So I am not the only one wondering if it involved pretty please with sugar on top. On Tim Brent, “He’s perfect!” Ok there was more to that but why ruin a good thing? Johnny said he’s a great penalty killer and is over 50% in the face-off circle. He talked to some folks in Chicago where Brent played in 2008-2009 and they had good things to say about him.
Next up on stage was “Heart and soul #59″ Chad LaRose who asked what was different about negotiating his contract this year versus two years ago. He pointed out that two years ago he actually did hit free agency. True to his comments in other interviews he said “The fan base made me not even want to test the market. Made the decision easy for me.” When Rosey says this I believe him. It’s not hard to figure out why he is a fan favorite. When Rosey is involved his work ethic and motivational skills are always discussed. John asked what it was like to be a veteran now and having to show leadership. He says he is still “hootin’ and hollerin’ in practice” and he “can’t take days off because when I do it’s noticeable.” Chad said he has grown as a player and a person.
Chad’s first skate of the summer came at Canes Rookie Camp where John mentioned he was spotted on one knee down on the ice. He replied in typical Rosey fashion with “Could’ve been both knees. I was pretty tired.” This was the first time he skated this summer and claims he thought Pete Friessen was running the skate. He showed up and all of the other guys were behind the glass. Surprise! Chad skates Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Ice House in Cary from 7:45-8:45AM with some other guys. No he didn’t name names. Let’s just go with “other guys.”
LaRose is known for his great soundbites and making people laugh, but there was nothing funny about him discussing his drive to win. He mentioned the News and Observer’s article “Canes Fade in Finish” and how he has it on a dresser in a room at his house. He uses it as “fuel” and motivation. Don’t tell me professional hockey players don’t want to win all the time.
Other questions posed to 59 included the standard Rod Brind’Amour vs Chad LaRose workout questions and a question about when he started skating. Age 2 1/2! Color me impressed (and clumsy). My burning question was graciously answered via @sparkleshorty on Twitter who confirmed that Chad was indeed wearing plaid shorts. John Forslund got the quickest answer of the night when he asked “Are you married yet?” Rosey deflected that question like Cam Ward deflects pucks! (And the answer ladies is no.)
LaRose left the stage with a “Good luck following that one up” chirp for the next guest, Assistant Coach Rod Brind’Amour.