Jordan Martinook has brought a new level of energy and camaraderie to the Carolina Hurricanes.
You read about high-morale players all the time. Players like Jaromir Jagr or John Tavares have historically been widely regarded around the league as high-morale teammates that the team chemistry seems to revolve around.
In recent memory, at least for the Carolina Hurricanes, there hasn’t been a stand-out guy on the roster in Raleigh. Sure, there have been high-morale players and leaders that have made their way in and out of the roster over the course of the past few years, but I can’t name a single guy prior to the 2017-18 season that was a stand-out morale booster.
For me, the names Rod Brind’amour, Eric Staal, Cam Ward, Erik Cole, and Chad Larose come to mind when recalling significant Hurricanes’ leaders and high-morale players throughout the past decade or so.
After the Hurricanes’ playoff run of 2009, the leadership and morale in the locker room seemed to dwindle. Players with massive potential seemed to not perform to expectations, players who were staples in the Hurricanes lineup seemed to want out, and quite a few of them were moved at their request (Skinner, Lindholm, Hanifin, etc.).
This year, everything has changed. Not only have the players who may have been deemed a problem in the locker room been moved from the team, but the Hurricanes have made many other moves to create a more cohesive group, both on and off the ice.
Don’t get me wrong, I hated seeing a vast majority of these players leave the team, but in most cases, I believe it was for the best for all parties involved.
The most significant morale-influencing move in my opinion, was the acquisition of Jordan Martinook. Martinook has brought a level of morale and energy to this team that honestly hasn’t been this evident since the 2009 playoff team.
Not to say Martinook is the only reason why the current lineup is so energetic and motivated to play for each other; there are plenty of leaders in the locker room currently.
Justin Williams, Jaccob Slavin, Justin Faulk, and every single other name on the roster are contributing factors to the current state of the team. That fact specifically is what is so darn magical about the Hurricanes this year.
The Hurricanes have gone from an era of not having a single stand-out guy for morale due to lack of engagement, to an era of having the same lack of a stand-out morale guy, but due to a complete buy-in of Head Coach Rod Brind’amour’s “Earn It” and “Next Man Up” mantras. This team plays and fights for each other like never before.
Brind’amour famously refers to many players in the locker room as ‘glue guys’, highlighting how these specific players hold the group together. In my opinion, no other player on the roster symbolizes the term ‘glue guy’ than Jordan Martinook.
Take a minute and watch a few of the interactions Martinook has with some of the other players both on and off the ice. Even with something as simple as reading off the starting lineup, Martinook brings an intensity that lights a fire under every person in the room.
Lighting a fire under us is exactly what the Carolina Hurricanes have needed for a long time. Thank you, Jordan Martinook, for being the spark that set it ablaze.
Question for CC Readers: What other Hurricanes stand out to you in terms of energy and morale?