The 2005/2006 Carolina Hurricanes roster was a pivotal team in sports history, not just for Raleigh, but the NHL as a whole. As the Hurricanes organization continued to fly under the radar in league as an almost “nobody” team following the ’04/’05 lockout, the men on the ice were quietly putting together one of the most titillating underdog stories in league history.
In this, “Where are they now?” multiple part segment, we will be following the 2006 roster and their time spent after the stunning Stanley Cup win and beyond by position. First up we have the goalies.
In the 2005/2006 season, nobody expected much of Martin Gerber. A relatively unknown name, Gerber was drafted 231st overall in the 2001 draft by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (Remember that?) He served as a backup for his first two years in Anaheim, playing in a total of 54 GP and boasting a SVG% of .923.
On June 18th, 2004, Gerber was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for D Thomáš Malec and a third round pick before the lockout occurred, effectively cancelling the 2004/2005 season. This trade gave Gerber an opportunity to finally start on an NHL team, putting him on top of a young 21 year old rookie goaltender by the name of Cameron Ward.
It was a memorable season for Gerber in his first go at a starting job. He posted a record of 38-14-6 and a .906 SV% during the regular season, effectively catapulting the Canes into the post season where, unbeknownst to him, his tenure with the club would end as he suffered a hamstring injury was replaced in net by Ward.
After signing with the Ottawa Senators the following year, played three seasons with them before he was once again on the move, bouncing around between the NHL, AHL and KHL, never staying with the same club for more than a season. He stopped playing professionally after playing two seasons with the Kloten Flyers in 2015 enjoying retirement after a long successful career.
Even with his stay in Carolina short lived, Gerber managed to come up big when the team needed it the most, propelling the Canes to the State of North Carolina’s only professional sports championship across all leagues. Most fans may have forgotten his name by now, but without him between the pipes in 2005/2006, Carolina may have very well not have ended up on top.
Cardiac Cane Readers: What are your thoughts on Martin Gerber and how instrumental to the Canes’ Stanley Cup victory?