Kevyn Adams arrived in Raleigh along with Bret Hedican from the Florida Panthers. At the time, the biggest news was that the Canes had found a way out of the pricey commitment to Sandis Ozolinsh that just was not working. And at the time, I doubt anyone would have predicted what was to follow in the 2002 playoffs and that both of these players would see long Canes careers, two trips to the Stanley Cup Finals and a Stanley Cup Finals win. But that is exactly what happened.
In his five seasons in a Hurricanes’ uniform, Keyyn Adams totaled 38 goals and 34 assists in exactly 300 regular season games, but his contribution can be better measured by considering his leadership and excellence as a team-first role player. Perhaps his biggest market statistically was in the category of shorthanded goals where he set a franchise record with five (which still stands as of August 2015) in the 2003-04 season. That single mark in the Canes’ record books is fitting for a player who was a key part of the penalty during his years in Raleigh.
He served as an alternate captain during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons including the magical 2006 playoff run playing most of game 7 with a wrist broken by a Chris Pronger shot early in the game. Adams was also a regular on the penalty kill stepping in front of shots or making whatever sacrifice was necessary to get back to even strength without any damage done. And in both the 2002 and 2006 deep playoff runs, he was the center and leader of fourth lines that provided energy when called upon. In 2002, it was Westlund/KAdams/Daniels, and in 2006 it was CAdams/KAdams/LaRose (in the playoffs – LaRose played on the 3rd line for much of the regular season).
Kevyn Adams is the epitome of an “Unsung Hero” and easily a flag bearer for this region of misfits, overachievers and role players that are out of the spotlight but critical to success in the NHL where bench players/reserves actually play. For his leadership and contributions as a valuable role player during two successful playoff runs, Kevyn Adams has claimed a position amongst the Canes greats.