Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 07/16/10 at 04:11 AM ET
The Carolina Hurricanes announced today that they will retire Rod Brind’Amour’s sweater number 17 on February 18, 2011. Appropriately, the visiting team will be the Flyers. He was drafted by and played two seasons with the Blues, after which he played eight an a half with Philly and nine and a half with the Hurricanes
Brind’Amour left Michigan State after only one season to join the Blues in the 1989 Stanley Cup playoffs. He scored goals on his first two shots in his NHL career.
Brindy’s #17 will join Ron Francis’ #10 and Glen Wesley’s #2 in the rafters. The club has also unofficially retired Steve Chiasson’s #3 and Gordie Howe’s #9. Chaisson passed away following a single car accident just after the Hurricanes were eliminated in the 1999 playoffs. As a 52-year old man, Mr. Hockey played his last NHL season with the Whale. Although his accomplishments happened well before his time in Hartford, the organ-eye-zation has unofficially taken his number nine out of circulation.
In the “Hurricanes” portion of the franchise history, Rod Brind’Amour is first in points with 473 points. He is also first with 299 assists. He’s third with 174 goals behind Jeff O’Neill’s 215 and Eric Staal’s 193. In franchise history, Ron Francis is first in goals, assists, points, games played, power play goals, shots, and many others. Of course his franchise numbers include nine seasons with the Whale and just six with the Hurricanes.
Brindy will be the first player in franchise history with a sweater retirement not to have played home games in Hartford.
Brindy led the team to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2006 and was the captain of the team from the 2005-06 season until the end of the 2009-10 season, when he was replaced by Eric Staal.
While Ron Francis had a clear path to the Hockey Hall of Fame and entered on the first ballot, Brind’Amour’s path probably won’t lead him to the Hall. Not on the first ballot anyway.
The transfer of the “C” from Brind’Amour to Staal was something that we all expected, but it came a little sooner than expected. In a two day span this summer, Carolina lost both of the alternate captains when Brind’Amour retired and Ray Whitney was signed by the Phoenix Coyotes. It’s clear that defenseman Tim Gleason will wear one of the As this coming season, but the other one is a matter of some debate.
The sweater retirement ceremony will, like that of Ron Francis, be a subdued event. It’ll be classy and tear-soaked, but Brind’Amour won’t absorb any more of the spotlight than absolutely necessary
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.