Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: jeff o'neill
While the Hurricanes aren’t doing anything this spring, May 28 is a huge day in the history of the Carolina Hurricanes. Two of the biggest moments in franchise history have taken place on this date. One in 2002 and the other in 2006. Both occurred during Eastern Conference Finals play. One of them was a “where were you when…” moment and the other was one that some Hurricanes fans might not even be able to pin down as a pivotal moment.
The key players in these franchise-defining moments are Martin Gélinas and Cam Ward.
On Tuesday, the news came that Jeff O’Neill, once a Hurricanes hero, once a Hurricanes pariah, most recently a Hurricane hopeful, ended his quest for a return to the NHL. For now, anyway.
N&O Hurricanes beat writer Chip Alexander has a quick hit and Luke Decock has a much better take.
History may record Jeff O’Neill as an underachiever, never reaching the promise that made him the fifth overall pick in 1997. But for a few seasons with the Hurricanes, he was every bit that good—just not this fall.
According to the articles, O’Neill and the Hurricanes came to an agreement that it just wasn’t going to happen. I can say that after attending one preseason game and watching another, there is no doubt that O’Neill was a non-factor. He was hardly even visible. When Justin Williams went out with his Achilles injury, things looked good for #92, but he didn’t bring enough to the table to seize the opportunity.
Jeff O’Neill made headlines earlier this summer when the Hurricanes announced that they had offered him a tryout. Most fans, myself included, grumbled and rolled eyes, muttering something like “don’t hold your breath”. By all accounts, O’Neill has looked good in unofficial practice sessions at “Camp Brind’Amour”, which prompted many fans to continue to grumble and roll their eyes and mutter “don’t hold your breath”. When Justin Williams tore his Achilles on Wednesday, things changed quite a bit. It isn’t the way O’Neill wanted the opportunity, but he has an opportunity on a silver platter now.
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes got some horrible news. Justin Williams has torn his right Achilles tendon and will miss four to six months. According to the News and Observer, Williams suffered the injury in an off-ice workout and should miss the majority of the season.