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The Voices We Grow Up On

by Mike Flanagan •  @mflanagan00 •  Jun 23, 2016  •  3 comments

Sometimes, when you are in the middle of something very special each and every day, you don’t know how very good you have it.  Too often, only when a layer of security that has been part of the fabric of your day to day life…

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Grading the 2015-15 Canes: The Ones with Masks

by Derek Roessler •  @droessl •  Apr 29, 2016  •  0 comments

In parts 1 and 2 of Grading the Canes, Mr. Workrate handed out marks to the forwards, and Mr. Alytics dove into the defense.  With that, it's my turn to examine the work put in by both Cam Ward and Eddie Lack this season. Lucky me, eh?Cam WardCould you please repeat the question?Coming into the season, Cam, like most returning players, talked at length about being better in season 2 of the Peters regime. In 2014-15, Ward posted a 2.40 GAA and .910 SV%, and boy oh boy, improve he did(n't so much as do).This past year, Ward's GAA actually went up to 2.41 and his SV% came down to .909. #WelpDrink. Ward actually started off the season with respectable numbers in October. However, the .886 sv% in 10 November starts is going to drag down even the most promising of Octobers. 

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Section 328’s Casino Night Baskets

by Derek Roessler •  @droessl •  Mar 3, 2016  •  0 comments

One of the most interesting aspects of Carolina Hurricanes Casino Night are the player baskets. Every year, players and coaches fill up baskets with some of their favorite items, autographed swag, and perhaps opportunities to spend time with them. Despite the approximate retail value of the items, they tend to be auctioned off for well into 4 figures, which is great, as they all benefit the Kids 'N Community Foundation.We were shocked when the Canes asked the Section328 crew to put together some baskets for this weekends Casino Night.  While we are sure that none of these will actually receive a bid (or even exist in real life), it was fun pulling them together.The Flanagan Basket:A copy of Too Fat To Fish autographed by author Artie Lange because every fat guy needs inspiration that there is someone out there worse off than him. One year's supply of Ricola lozenges to coat your throat from trying to keep up with Mike talking so much Bomber of Evil Twin Brewing Even More Jesus because beer is a religion in 328 PS4 controller w/ the sticks chewed off by a puppy signed by Derek Roessler.  It shows the frustration in trying to beat Derek in NHL 15 or 16 Copy of NHL16 for XBoxOne signed by Steve Halko, because Flanagan can never score either. Two tickets to sit in Section 328 because, I mean, c’mon… it’s awesome A ticket to the 328 Season Opening tailgate and a bye in the first round of the 328 Annual Cornhole Tourney.  Includes tutoring session by none other than the World Champs of the World Team of Mike and Derek prior to the tailgate. One coupon to have Mike come to your work and loudly berate your most hated co-worker for 15 mins

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Diary Of A Fantasy Player: Sunday & Monday

by minter •  Feb 22, 2016  •  0 comments

Gameday.After a fairly sedate Saturday, I got a decent night's sleep and woke up around 9am Sunday. The realization set in almost immediately - I was going to hit the ice and play a hockey game with real NHL players in just a few hours. Now, I've been performing in front of crowds for quite a while: Nearly 18 years at ComedySportz, a few years at GOUGE wrestling, NC State Hockey, and the Canes PA gig this year. Plus all of the public speaking stuff I did in school. I'm generally pretty even-keel before an event. But Sunday morning, I could barely eat any of the pancake breakfast that my wife fixed. At the point where she exclaimed "Would you stop pacing around the house?!?!", I realized that it was time to pack my bag and head out.Arriving at PNC Arena, I got the treat of parking in the player's lot behind the security gate. That made for a shorter trip with the bag and stick into the arena, then a right-hand turn down the hall into the Hurricanes locker room. As Doug Warf had tweeted out earlier in the day, my locker stall was ready and waiting.https://twitter.com/dougwarf/status/698895216896536577#42 - Serious businessTurns out my spot was the third down as you walk in the door. Goalie Wendy Thomas was in the first stall (the other #42 on Team White), and I was sandwiched between Nic Wallin and Bret Hedican.Yup. Just got real.

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Diary of a Fantasy Player: Friday & Saturday

by minter •  Feb 15, 2016  •  0 comments

I took the day off work on Friday.That's kind of a big deal - I'm an employee of a small startup hustling to get some product out, so this was actually the first day off I'd taken since I joined the company in October. But with a full day of events planned, I was going to get my money's worth. With my hockey gear packed the night before, I set out around 9am for the PNC Arena.We were able to park in the North lot, right outside the security gate, making for a fairly quick trip with the gear bag into the side room at ice level that was functioning as a temporary locker room. Stash the gear, sign the waivers, and look around for any familiar faces. I didn't recognize too many, this being my first fantasy game in a room with quite a few veterans. I did recognize Jeff Wing, assistant coach for the NC State hockey team, and Paul Lawson, all the way in from Scotland.I ended up sitting next to Wendy Thomas, the only woman to play in the game, during the Hurricanes' morning skate. Apparently her husband and I were at Red Hat at the same time. That bit of nerdy trivia would come into play later.For the morning skate, Justin Faulk came out and skated on his own for a bit. He was moving pretty slowly, unfortunately, which didn't give me a great feeling about his availability for the night's game. He left the ice before practice really got started. Coach Peters worked the guys for about a half-hour or so through a nicely-paced workout, then left the healthy scratches to get a little bit of extra work in.

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Diary of a Fantasy Player: Pregame

by minter •  Feb 10, 2016  •  7 comments

"Hey, Chris, uh, do you need me to announce the alumni fantasy game?""Nope, we're covered. You can take that game off."With that, the wheels started turning.Let me back up a bit, by way of introduction. I'm Wade. Some folks may know me (or my voice) as the surprise selection for the new public address announcer at PNC Arena (I was as surprised as anyone). My day job is as a technology executive/programmer/sysadmin for a local internet startup. But what's relevant to this article is that I'm a Hurricanes fan. I started following hockey while in college at William & Mary, where my friends were almost universally both from Northern Virginia and Capitals fans. But I moved to Raleigh in February of 1999, just before the Canes left Greensboro for their new home.  After attending the first game at the then-ESA, I fell in love with the sport and the team. I've been a regular in Section 328 for quite a while.Hipster Cred - I haz it.I also picked up playing adult hockey about a decade or so ago. As I tend to physically match most of the stereotypes of computer nerds, I'm not the most athletic guy in the world. My last foray into any sort of competitive sport was a season of Babe Ruth baseball when I was 16. My career ended with one hit, one run scored, and I missed the only game our team won that year. Yeah. And growing up in the middle of nowhere in Southside Virginia, the only place you'd see a hockey jersey was when the one new kid who had lived in the city wanted to show off by wearing one. Hockey was that thing you might pass briefly by on ESPN, watch five minutes, get confused, and move on. But after seeing the Canes storm the crease like bumblebees for a few years, I got the itch. Even my wife (who grew up in the same town, and joined me in Raleigh saying "Hockey is stupid, why would I want to go to a hockey game?") was hooked after seeing about three games in person.

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