This summer, one of the things that some bloggers have been doing is to list an all-time Hurricanes team. I didn't do that, but when I was messing around looking at the historical sweater numbers, I thought I'd list my favorite Hurricanes not by position, but by sweater number. Some of them are no-brainers because there's only one candidate. Others are no-brainers because the competition isn't much to speak of.
To be honest, there's quite a few players who I either can't remember, or I never heard of to begin with. Anyway, here's the list.
1 Arturs Irbe wins this one easy. "The Little Latvian" was never a world-beater, and he cried like a little girl when he lost the full-time job to Kevin Weekes, but he had some fantastic games in the 2002 cup run, and he's been a great guy in his post-Hurricane days.
2 Glen Wesley is the only candidate, but would win hands down anyway. No Hurricanes player will ever wear that number again.
3 The late Steve Chiasson was and will be the only Hurricane to wear the number.
4 Aaron Ward gets it.
5 Despite scoring the Cup-winning goal in 2006, Frantisek Kaberle loses this one to another Czech defenseman, Marek Malik.
6 Bret Hedican gets this. As much as I complained about him, when he was on, he was a marvel to watch.
7 Nic Wallin. How many other guys have three playoff overtime goals? None.
8 Matt Cullen wins a tight race with Sandis Ozolinsh.
9 vacant --- Gordie Howe
10 some guy named Ron Francis. Poor Gary Roberts would easily make this list if he had worn any other number.
11 Kevin Dineen and Jeff Daniels put up some very tough fights, but Justin Williams wins this one.
12 Eric Staal, easily
13 It wasn't easy to give Bates Battaglia any consideration on this, and it goes to Ray Whitney in a landslide.
14 This is a really tough one. I really like Sergei Samsonov, but it just wouldn't be fair to take it away from Kevyn Adams. K-Ads gets it.
15 Tuomo Ruutu edges out Marty Murray
16 Andrew Ladd wins this one, even though he was nothing more than a source of constant frustration.
17 Rod Brind'Amour will certainly be the last player to don that number for the Canes. He wins this easily.
18 Even though he was just a rental player, I gotta go with Mark Recchi.
19 Although there are six candidates, Radim Vrbata wins it easily.
20 Jan Hlavac beat out two other guys. He only played for the Canes for less than a full season, but he recorded a hat trick against Detroit in November of 2002 and became a legend.
21 Ron Francis gets this one too. He had to wear 21 for a season because Gary Roberts was being unreasonable and refused to give up the #10.
22 Sean Hill edges out Mike Commodore.
23 Martin Gelinas.
24 Sami Kapanen beats out Scott Walker.
25 This will be Joni Pitkänen's number.
26 Erik Cole takes it, but Ray Sheppard put up a serious fight. Sheppard was a beast in the 1999 playoffs.
27 Although I don't remember it this way, Rod Brind'Amour wore #27 in 2000 because Jeff Daniels was wearing #17. However, I have to give #27 to Craig "Hands of Feet" Adams.
28 This is a really boring one, and Andrew Hutchinson gets it for being the least boring.
29 Martin Gerber. Easily.
30 Cam Ward. Easily.
31 Craig MacDonald. I have only a very vague recollection of him, and the only other candidate was Tyler Moss, who I've never heard of.
33 Anton Babchuk is scheduled to wear this number this coming season. I'll give it to him instead of Dave Karpa.
34 Dave Gove didn't get many chances to play, but he earned his paycheck.
35 Tom Barrasso.
36 I like Brandon Nolan here.
37 Keith Aucoin really busted his tail and made the best of his limited chances.
38 Tim Conboy made a big name for himself with his work ethic, and he'll have a bigger role this coming season.
39 Brad DeFauw scored his first NHL goal in his debut game in 2002-03. He only played a few NHL games, but for that nifty feat, he beat out the Stanley Cup rental Doug Weight.
42 Timmmmmaay Gleason easily beats out Jeff "cousin of the Staal brothers" Heerema.
44 Patrick Eaves
45 It pains me to say it, but David Tanabe is the best player to ever have worn the #45 for the Hurricanes.
46 I don't recall him wearing this number, but Mike Zigomanis gets this one.H
47 Brad Fast scored his one and only NHL goal in his one and only NHL game. He easily beats out Johnny Crackers.
48 Anton Babchuk
49 Michael Leighton (uncontested)
51 Andrei Kovalenko
52 Damian Surma (uncontested)
53 Casey Borer
55 Keith Primeau was the captain, but he doesn't win this one. Daniil Markov does, simply because he was the player who was traded for Justin Williams. Of course Primeau was traded for Brind'Amour, but Primeau also disgraced the team. Markov gets it.
56 Brett Lysak (uncontested)
59 Chad LaRose (uncontested)
61 Cory Stillman (uncontested)
62 Jaro Svoboda (uncontested)
63 Josef Vasicek (uncontested)
70 Oleg Tverdovsky (uncontested)
71 Tomas Malec (uncontested)
77 It's really hard not to give this to HOFer Paul Coffey, but I gotta go with Joe Corvo on this one.
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