Three names already hang in the rafters of PNC Arena with a few more possibly on the way. However, one former Carolina Hurricanes player should have gone up years ago, and that name is Josef Vasicek.
Rod Brind’Amour. Ron Francis. Glen Wesley. These three men are the only people who have the honor of having their names retired by the Carolina Hurricanes and sit in the rafters of PNC Arena. With names such as Justin Williams, Cam Ward, and eventually Eric Staal, when he retires, possibly joining them in the rafters, I believe Josef Vasicek should also be in the conversation to be raised.
In his seven season-long playing career in the NHL, he spent six of them with the Carolina Hurricanes. He also became one of the few players to have played on both the 2002 Stanley Cup Final team and the 2006 Stanley Cup Champion team.
Though his stats are not star worth with only 77 goals and 104 assists, he was still a constant presence in the playoffs both on the ice and in the locker room.
In 2011, one of the worst tragedies in hockey history occured in Russia. The plane carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed near the airport, killing all but one passenger on board. Among them was former Carolina Hurricanes player Josef Vasicek.
After that day, for the rest of the 2011-2012 season, the Carolina Hurricanes honored him by wearing a patch on their jerseys, then again by naming an end of the year award after him given to a players for outstanding cooperation with local media.
Both of these honors are great, but I honestly think he deserves to have his name forever cemented with the Carolina Hurricanes. His jersey is already unofficially retired with other names like Gordie Howe, Cam Ward, and Eric Staal, but this would be the ultimate tribute to his memory.
Now after 8 years following his death and his name phasing into the background of Carolina Hurricanes history, it’s time to shine the light back on this player who gave us so much.
Question for CC readers: Who else should have their jersey retired?