Today’s Daily Cup of Joe joins right in with the 2006 Stanley Cup theme occurring in a couple other places.
Voting ends Wednesday at 12pm ET for the first round of the ‘Cup Core’ regional. Go here to vote if you have not already or to check status to see if Mike Commodore’s Twitter push will be enough to pull off an upset against Cory Stillman.
This second half offers two sentences each on Chad LaRose through Justin Williams.
Chad LaRose: Is he the greatest underdog in Carolina Hurricanes history? As an undersized, undrafted free agent who hustled his way into 7 years with the Canes and won a spot in fans’ hearts, I think so.
Mark Recchi: He brought EXACTLY the calmness and the confidence of someone who had been there and done that under the greatest of pressure. In so doing, he earned his spot in Canes history despite his short tenure.
Eric Staal: He is only a contract negotiation away from being the fourth jersey in the PNC Arena rafters. He is an all-time great regardless, but another 2-4 solid years in a Canes uniform would cement his place amongst the legends.
Cory Stillman: He was the fuel. Paired with two power forwards in Erik Cole and Eric Staal, he was the playmaker who better than any other player in the league adapted to the elimination of the two line pass springing both Eric’s for breakaway after breakaway.
Oleg Tverdovsky: Playing only five games in the playoffs as a seventh defenseman, his role was minimal, but it should not be underestimated how hard any hockey player has worked to get to that level.
Josef Vasicek: After missing most of the season with a knee injury, the ‘Czech Condor’ hustled back to provide needed depth when the team needed it.
Niclas Wallin: For the Canes, he is the epitome of the unsung hero with emphasis on hero. His propensity to score crucial goal in the playoffs was uncanny and worthy of his “The Secret Weapon” nickname.
Aaron Ward: He played a key role as a top 4 defenseman in both of the Canes first two deep playoff runs. Even after leaving, he still managed to climb into Caniacs playoff memory banks when he was on the other end of the Scott Walker punch as a Boston Bruin in the Canes third deep playoff run.
Cam Ward: Winning the Conn Smythe as a rookie in the 2006 playoffs easily rates as one of the greatest individual accomplishments in Hurricanes history. He could also be first team on a Hurricanes “good people” team which is saying something given how well the team that has been at icing players who were good people in addition to being good hockey players.
Doug Weight: He was the stake in the sand that said “Win. It. Now!” When Rutherford moved early and paid a fortune to get Weight it was a huge vote of confidence for the team and a statement that this team would compete for the Stanley Cup.
Glen Wesley: 1,480. That is how many regular season and playoff games, he had played before he deservedly earned his place on the Stanley Cup as a Canes alternate captain.
Ray Whitney: Aptly called “The Wizard,” he was the playmaker on a third line (Whitney/Cullen/LaRose) that provided depth scoring during the regular season and did similar with different line mates during the playoffs.
Justin Williams: Out of all of the plays from the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs maybe because of Chuck Kaiton’s call and the realization that came with watching it live, it was his empty net goal and jump into the board celebrating that is the second most vivid memory of those playoffs for me. First of course if Brind’Amour hoisting the Cup.
Quick Canes trivia: Name the two players (not coaches or other) who are not on this list (because they did not play in the playoffs) but had their name engraved on the Stanley Cup because of regular season play.