Carolina and NASCAR go together like Jeff Skinner and the Calder Memorial Trophy. They are a perfect, well-know pairing. Friday‘s State of Canes address at Canes Fest discussed how the team has developed since the disappointing end to the 2010-11 season. It reminded me of assembling a race car. So how would the 2011-12 Carolina Hurricanes look as a NASCAR vehicle?
Let’s start with the frame. There is the front section (the front clip) and the rear section (the rear clip). This base is designed for effectiveness and protection of the driver. For example, the front clip is created to push the engine out of the bottom of the car instead of into the driver’s seat during an accident.
The front clip to the Canes is the fantastic marketing and media relations departments that keep the previously mentioned danger at bay. Doug Warf, Mike Sundheim, and Kyle Hanlin are a few key names to mention. I don’t think Caniacs would argue we have a stellar team of professionals doing everything from keeping us informed to running The Kids N Community Foundation.
Bringing up the rear clip is the executive management. Sorry to name them as the rear, I rebel against all upper management. It’s not personal JR. Just like a NASCAR roadster, the rear is equally important to the front. They make sure the team can take it from the behind. Ah, what? You know what I meant.
Next comes the body. The roof has a safety device to keep the car from flipping. According to How Stuff Works, “If the car goes into a spin, flaps in the roof deploy.” The body of the Carolina Hurricanes is the fans. Caniacs stand behind their team come rain or shine. We keep the team from “flipping” so to say. Like a logo painted on the hood, we sport the sweaters to Canes car magnets to show our support.
A race car engine is custom-made, but they do have some things in common with the original engines. Which is very similar to a hockey team, meaning a typical NHL roster line-up consists of twelve forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders. However, those units are compiled of different talents. We may have lost Cole and Corvo (tear), but gained Boucher, Brent, Ponikarovsky, and Kaberle. Our engine model, our captain, is Eric Staal. Along with alternate captains Tim Gleason and Brandon Sutter, the trio is the driving force behind the Carolina Hurricanes.
Tires are an imperative component to a race car. How Stuff Works tells us, “NASCAR tires look completely bald, but that’s not because they are worn out. It is by design. On a dry track, tires can generate more traction if more of their sticky rubber is in contact with the ground.” How fitting they mention rubber when we have Skinner, Ruutu, Dalpe, and Jokinen racing the rubber to the back of the net.
All and all, I say we have a pretty mean race car machine. A well-oiled vehicle to get us into the playoffs. Get out your checkered flags Caniacs, we are headed for the finish line!