The Stanley Cup playoffs are getting serious now.
The Boston Bruins, the predicted winner, and Colorado Avalanche, the reigning NHL champs, were both eliminated in the first round. But the Hurricanes are still in it and preparing for a battle in round two against the New Jersey Devils.
Despite several injuries to key players, the Canes had one of their best seasons in a long time. If you aren’t already a fan you should become one right now! Here are five different reasons to become a Canes fan.
1. If you become famous and are a Canes fan, you can ring the siren to begin home games.
Before each game begins, one special fan rings an actual air raid siren that was used to warn citizens in the area of approaching danger during World War II. As of 1985 it and all other air raid sirens have been decommissioned, but one of them sits below the “Home of the Hurricanes” sign in the upper deck seats.
It whips the stadium into a frenzy just before the puck drops, and if you are a fan, you may one day get the opportunity to ring the bell at the beginning of a game.
Who is able to ring the siren? There are many different people who are given the opportunity, such as season ticket holders, celebrities, fans, and corporate sponsors. This tradition started at the beginning of the 2009-2010 season and has been a major part of every season since.
The first person to ever ring the siren was former North Carolina senator Elizabeth Dole. Many other celebrities who have rang the siren have come from various different sports teams like the NC state long distance runner Kaitlyn Tuohy, NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denver Broncos quarterback Russel Wilson, UNC basketball players Armando Bacot and RJ Davis and NCCU men’s basketball coach, Levelle Moton.
2. They have an amazing coach
The Hurricanes’ recent string of successful season could also be because of their amazing coach. Rod Brind’Amour has been with the Canes for over 20 years. He was a star player when they won their first Stanley Cup in 2006 and later picked up two Selkie Trophies for being the best defensive forward in the NHL.
Since being named head coach in 2018 Brind’Amour hasn’t had a losing season. He led the team to the Stanley Cup playoffs every year, beginning with an unexpected run to the Eastern Conference Finals during his first year and advancing to the second round four times in the past five years.
“He’s simply a beast,” said the Hurricane’s head strength and conditioning coach Bill Bruniston in a 2019 interview with ESPN.
3. They have had an extremely good season
This year, the Hurricanes have had one of their most successful seasons since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. Their 52-21-19 regular season record could also have been because of their strong roster. Strong forward Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov combined to score 87 of the Cane’s 244 goals in the regular season. With their quick transitions and strong defense, Led by Jacob Slavin and Brent Burns, and multiple goalies with playoff experience, the Canes have a good chance to make it to the Stanley Cup finals and maybe even win it all.
4. College basketball is over and you need something new to cheer for
This year’s NCAA tournament may have been a shock to many fans, but it’s time to get over that and find a new team to cheer for.
Maybe the Hurricanes, who won the Metropolitan Division during the regular season and have a pig for a mascot, have been a strong contender for the Stanley Cup this entire season. They dominated the New York Islanders during the first two games of the playoffs, lost games three and five, then clinched the series on a thrilling overtime goal by Paul Stastny.
The Canes’ combination of talent, experience and great coaching makes them a very reliable team, something that college basketball tends to lack.
5. Things are about to get tough, but the Stanley Cup is within reach.
The Hurricanes have had a relatively easy year, keeping their number-one spot in the Metropolitan Division and only having two teams challenge them: Boston Bruins, who were upset in the first round to the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils, who knocked out the New York Rangers, who beat the Canes in round two last year.
The first round of the playoffs looked easy at times, but that’s unlikely to continue as they proceed to the second and hopefully third round. There will be sirens, punches, pigs and, hopefully, insane home crowds doing weird dances after each goal.
They’ll need your support to fuel them and you need a sport to get excited about watching again.