What Irks Me, the Caniac
Why do people hate us!?! I've always been proud to tell people that I’m a Caniac. Win or lose, it’s my team.
Yes, that’s right, I’m a Caniac and damn proud of it. People constantly disrespect my team, passing it off as crap because we are in a southern market. Well, to those of you who have said something like this in Ottawa, Philly, Pittsburgh, Boston, New Jersey, and DC: “I fart in your general direction!”
They are “here to play, here to stay.” And playing they are! The team has chutzpah; it’s an experience for me to watch them play. Staal has improved dramatically in the extended off-season, he’s bigger and he’s got hands sent from heaven. The great thing is, we’ve got much, much more to offer, but that’s not why I’m writing.
Long time hockey fans in Raleigh realize what this team has to offer. We see the improvements, we see the skill, and most importantly, we see the heart. Message-boards are being lit up like a Christmas trees, and appropriately October records are being smashed like pumpkins. We've got a great start and we're all riding the wave. What I love even more, is the fact that Raleigh is back to being a hockey city, its evident because non-hockey fans notice the team is thriving. People know that I’m their go-to guy for hockey news, trivia, and updates. So, naturally it was exciting when “is that lockout thing over yet?” has changed to, “the Hurricanes are playing well, aren’t they?” I no longer need the internet to discuss hockey, but I still love my internet hockey-message-board buddies. In the spring of 2002, Raleigh was absolutely electric. Hockey was everywhere; it was the thing to be into at the time. That gradually faded over the course of the next two seasons and the lockout, but now it’s slowly coming back. About 14,000 fans came to see the Bruins play on a Wednesday night; 12,000 for Monday’s game versus the Senators. Friday drew a near sellout crowd, just shy of about 500. For most teams (yes, I’ve checked the official score sheets, so don’t send me threatening emails) these figures are remarkable. But, we aren’t most teams, and we aren’t any “non-traditional” hockey market.
Hockey is back, and for once, it feels good to be a fan of the game AND a fan of The Carolina Hurricanes.