Two More Reasons The Hurricanes Need Their AHL Team Here In NC

Coming off a concussion, Pyotr Kochetkov has been activated and sent to Chicago for rehab games. The goalie situation has the potential to settle back with Kochetkov, Antti Raanta, and Spence Martin in the third slot. But Chicago is so far away, and Canes fans are left without hockey during the All-Star Break
Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

We are all glad to hear Pyotr Kochetkov has been activated from the IR list and sent to Chicago. That has to mean he is getting healthy. Everyone paying attention wakes up each morning relieved, if not a little suspicious, that the goalie might be resolved for the last time this season. We all know this likely isn't, but a few weeks of peace on that front would be welcomed.

Still sending PK to Chicago remains somewhat tenuous, in that technically Kochetkov is playing for an independent team. The Wolves are, to paraphrase the great philosopher Alan Garner, "a one team wolfpack." Any good, or ill that befalls Kochetkov really only helps them.

manual

While the ice time under game conditions will be helpful in bringing Kochetkov back to speed, that is where the benefits end for the Hurricanes. If Carolina had their AHL affairs in order that would the case. Hurricanes AHLers would all be in one spot, gaining experience together in the template of Stefan Noesan, Jack Drury, and Jalen Chatfield who played together in Chicago. A trip to Chicago by anyone from Raleigh would help increase chemistry for when the time came to hit the NHL ice together.

Then comes the distance and travel for these trips to the AHL. Chicago is away in Cleveland for both of the games PK is likely to be with the team. That means meeting the team in Cleveland with a connecting flight somewhere in between. From the Triangle, you can make it to either the Fayetteville Marksmen or Winston-Salem (Carolina Thunderbirds) in under two hours, maybe even a little less depending on where in the RDU you are driving from. You could make it to Greensboro(should the team land there), for a flight if needed, in an hour easily were the Hurricanes needing to send a player for AHL work.

Say what you want about my motives, but having an AHL in North Carolina (NOTthe Charlotte Checkers) would make these NHL All-Star Breaks so much better for us as fans too. While I got the good fortune to cheer on Antti Raanta in his one and only start with the Chicago Wolves, I was one of four fans in the house with Canes gear on. Not only would we Hurricanes fans be able to migrate for games during the All-Star break, they would get to join in for when a Hurricanes player went down for rehab.

Carolina landing a second AHL team in North Carolina make the travel for fans and players alike so much easier, develop mutual fan bases, cement the Hurricanes franchise as a homegrown powerhouse. Where in North Carolina (besides Charlotte) does not matter. Just as long as it is easy to get to a game when the Canes are out of town or like they are now on the All-Star break I am happy!