Original version published on Thursday, March 9, 2017. Additional Forslundisms added on Friday March 10, 2017 and highlighted in red font. A huge thank you to the Caniac Nation for building this great list that is approaching 50! Keep ’em coming via comments, Twitter (@ or just use #Forslundisms (plural more used)), or email. Surely we can get to 100.
Game #63 of the 2016-17 season was a tough one to watch for many Canes fans who are still checked in. Coming off a win that offered a glimmer of hope on Sunday, the Hurricanes played a game that very much felt like they were playing out the string. The game between 2 teams most likely destined for the draft lottery lacked intensity, and the Hurricanes came out on the losing end of it.
But in always trying to find joy, John Forslund reached into the Forslund-ism rolodex and pulled out a gem that is a lesser-used expression but for whatever reason 1 of my all-time favorites. As an Avalanche player was skating through the neutral zone, he went down suddenly which prompted John Forslund to exclaim that he was “hit by a blow dart from the third level.” For whatever reason, this one causes me to literally burst out laughing. I have had beverages spew out of my face a couple times on this type of occasion.
At the most basic level, Hurricanes fans are incredibly lucky to have a top-notch broadcast team. Also significant is the fact that the primary players have been with the team for the entirety of the organization’s 20 years in North Carolina. All of Chuck Kaiton, John Forslund and Tripp Tracy have become part of the fabric of the Caniac Nation. Awhile back when creating a bracket of all-time Hurricanes greats, I actually included both Chuck Kaiton and John Forslund with bios because of how integral I think both are to the development of Hurricanes hockey. For an incredible read from a couple years back including how Forslund got started in play-by-play as an aspiring 11-12-year old, check out this article on Forslund by Mike Sundheim at the team web site.
But rather than going the sentimental route, I think the Caniac Nation could use a dose of lightheartedness.
Thanks to a ton of help crowd sourcing #Forslundisms on Twitter, here is a quick attempt to list at least some of the many Forslund-isms that have emerged over 20 years of Hurricanes hockey. Obviously, there are many more, so please chime in by commenting, emailing or pinging us on Twitter, and I will add to the list or make a part 2.
The John Forslund classics
There is a certain category of Forslund-isms that are known pretty universally by even casual Canes fans because they are such a regular part of a Hurricanes’ broadcast and are associated with good times and winning.
“___ says NO!” (Not sure why but Irbe was my favorite for this) (Thanks @)
Pretty passing/hockey plays for goals
“He put the biscuit in the basket!”
“Tic-tac-toe.” (again often followed by “That’s hockey baby!”)
John Forslund’s great goalie save and other calls
“____ with a dandy!” (Thanks @)
“None better!” (occasionally used for other things too, but a common refrain after a spectacular save)
“OHHH MERCY!” — (again, most commonly used for great saves but sometimes for other plays too) (Thanks @)
“____ melts it down.” (for when the goalie freezes the puck) (Thanks edbenson, CandC community member)
For when a player without contact inexplicably takes a fall — “Shot by a blow dart from the third level.” (Thanks @) This is oddly my all-time favorite. It just fits so perfectly right when I’m thinking ‘what happened there?’ and causes me to bust out laughing.
Also for when a player suddenly goes down without direct contact — “____ blew a tire.” (Thanks @)
For when a team has extended time in the offensive zone and the defense gets running around — “There is trouble brewing.”
For when a player tries to beat a defenseman but gets thwarted — “No quarter given.” (Thanks @RParmele3)
For when players get chopping at the puck or each other — “It’s hack and whack time.” (Thanks @FutureCanes)
For when a player loops around with the puck usually in the defensive zone — “____ circles the wagons.” (Thanks @)
For when a player is skating around with the puck looking to pass it but cannot find an option — “___ can’t find a friend to pass to.” (Thanks @)
For when both teams are changing at the same time and there is a crowd by both benches — “…looks like Grand Central Station.” (Thanks @)
Also for busy, mass line changes — “wholesale changes.”
For when the crowd erupts looking for a penalty call — “Fans are looking for a call…(perfect pause)…None provided.” (Thanks @)
Use of “twigs” to describe hockey sticks. (Thanks @)
Also “drift wood” for broken sticks littered on the ice.
For when a player starts wheeling and dealing with the puck — “___ goes to work.” (Thanks @)
For when a player dials up the skating carrying the puck — “____ starts his engine.” (Thanks @)
For when a defenseman shoots from the point looking for a tip but does not get one — “Looking for a tip…none available.” (Thanks @)
For when players are chirping or about to fight — “Exchanging greetings (or niceties)” (Thanks @)
For when a power play expires — “Even terms of on the ice, ___(score) where it matters.” (Thanks zturner27, CandC community member)
For some roughing and jawing after the whistle — “A disturbance.” (Thanks dogbutler, CandC community member.
For it it escalates — “a kerfluffle” or if it gets really out of hand “a donnybrook.” (Thanks dogbutler, CandC community member)
For when a player makes a pass but misses his target — “Unattainable…as in “pass to Aho, but it’s unattainable.” (Thanks @)
For when a player with the puck, usually under pressure, turns sharply to get free — “He buttonhooks.” (Thanks @)
For a player looking around, usually a defenseman, to sort things out defensively — “With his head on a swivel…” (Thanks @)
For when naming the 4 penalty killers on the ice — “The quartet of killers” (Thanks @)
For when a player patiently plays a puck knowing he is going to get hit right after he does it — “Takes a hit to make a play.” (Thanks @)
For when a player is stickhandling and carrying the puck for an extended period of time — “_____ puts on a show.” (Thanks @)
For when a player receives a puck and then stickhandles, usually in place — “____ dusts it off.” (Thanks @)
The familiar script Forslund-isms
As I said on Twitter during the day, I am not sure if there is an intentional science to it or not, but John Forslund has an uncanny ability to mix the right recipe of familiar standbys that make a broadcast feel like a familiar children’s story that you have read 100 times but with enough new stuff to keep it fresh.
From the category of being part of the comfortable routine…
Toward the end of the game — “We go down the stretch.” (Thanks @jfishernc1)
Not sure if it is every game, but he usually (or is it always) starts the game with “Sit back and enjoy this one.” (Thanks @)
And I think it is correct that he finishes every broadcast with “Thanks for watching, and please keep America in your thoughts and prayers.” (Thanks @)
Forslund-isms tied to the broadcast
“That much time left on the penalty kill (or power play)” which cues you to look at the penalty kill clock in the cover of your screen. (Thanks @)
“Now you see it up close” just as the camera is switching from a farther rink view to an up close camera.
I recognize that everything is not perfect for Hurricanes hockey, but it is still cool that we have an incredibly strong case for having the best radio and television broadcast teams in the entire NHL.
Who has more Forslund-isms that we missed? I bet we could get to 80 with enough time and help.