As one of the first two members of the Canes to ever be selected to an All-Star Team, there’s just another reason for former standout goalie Arturs Irbe to hold a special place in the memories for the fan base.
Irbe is currently the goalie coach for the Washington Capitals, helping develop talents like Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer, and Semyon Varlamov. And, those are just a few of the goalie churned out of D.C. in the past eight years (a group that includes possibly the best NHL backup, a Vezina finalist, and a Vezina winner).
It wasn’t just the grit and quickness that Irbe played with that made Canes fans love him, he showed the game great respect and his knowledge is matched by very few. Caps fans get to appreciate that knowledge and overall coaching ability now. If only the Canes could snag him for the same position on the head coach Bill Peters’ staff.
Furthermore, Irbe led the Canes to a bunch of initial milestones as a franchise. He was an original All-Star representing the organization, and he played a very key role in leading Carolina to a Cinderella Stanley Cup Finals run in 2002. The 1999 selection was the second of two career All-Star appearances for Irbe, first of which came with the San Jose Sharks.