If you missed it, Canes and Coffee ran a poll this week to select a full roster (20 players and a coach) for an all-time team. You can find the poll results HERE.
HERE is a new poll which will be used to rank the players at each position to slot them in the roster (first through fourth line, first through third defense pairings and a starter and backup goalie).
Finally, if you want to take a stroll down memory lane, HERE is a set of player bios for all of the players included in the original polls.
The roster (in order of number of votes)
Left Wing: Ray Whitney, Jeff Skinner, Cory Stillman, Sami Kapanen.
Center: Ron Francis, Rod Brind’Amour, Eric Staal, Matt Cullen.
Right Wing: Erik Cole, Justin Williams, Jeff O’Neill, Tuomo Ruutu.
Defense: Glen Wesley, Justin Faulk, Bret Hedican, Joni Pitkanen, Niclas Wallin, Tim Gleason.
Goalie: Cam Ward, Arturs Irbe.
Coach: Peter Laviolette.
Thoughts on results
First, it is important to note that this a ‘summer doldrums exercise’ solely for fun. Any kind of official all-time team would require a larger scale effort and probably be most fair if decided by an expert committee. Finally, there is always a time bias for anything like this. Some Hurricanes hockey fans’ time with the team does not even stretch back to the late 1990s beginnings because of age or when they became a fan. I will also mostly skip comments on rankings of the selected players, so I do not not influence the ongoing vote to rank them.
So my comments are intended to be for curious conversation and not to declare what is right or wrong.
Here are my thoughts on the results:
Goalie: No surprise on the results, but I was a little bit surprised to see so many people (20) pull Kevin Weekes into the top 2 and even a few long-timers who remembered Trevor Kidd.
Left Wing: What immediately jumped out when creating the poll is how light the team is on the left side. If you shift Sami Kapanen to the right side (he played both), it gets even lighter.
Center: With 3 centers being automatics in my opinion, I found the choice for a fourth center to be an very interesting one. Josef Vasicek is a good choice for sentimental reasons and also a significant contribution to the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. Jussi Jokinen was a key top 6 forward on the 2008-09 team that pushed to the Eastern Conference Finals and part of the well-liked Finnish trio. Matt Cullen played a key role on the 2005-06 team that won the Stanley Cup. And Jordan Staal presents a next-generation option who is a team leader today. Keith Primeau who has no chance because of how he left and Stanley Cup-winning assistant captain Kevyn Adams are also interesting underdogs.
Right Wing: I am a Tuomo Ruutu fan, but a Kevin Dineen was also a deserving choice as the team’s first captain.
Defense: What jumped out creating the survey was that the Carolina Hurricanes have never really had a true star on the blue line (when they were still a star, so not counting someone like Paul Coffey). Justin Faulk is on a path, if not already there, toward being the first. The variety of options for the #6 defensemen and how that shook out.
Coach: I voted for Peter Laviolette giving him the edge over Paul Maurice only because he won the Stanley Cup, was disappointed that Maurice did not get more votes and surprised that Bill Peters did. To be clear, I like Bill Peters and am optimistic about his chances of doing very well in a similar poll in 10 years but am not giving credit for “all-time” until he at least coaches in the playoffs.
As noted at the top, click HERE is a quick set of polls to slot the roster into lines and defense pairings.
What do people think? Is this close to how you voted and what you expected?