29 January, 2006

Farewell, Mr. Whalercane.

Saturday night saw the retirement of Ron Francis' #10 in a very moving ceremony.

And, in a move that came as a surprise to absolutely no one that's paid any attention at all to the history of the Carolina Hurricanes, Bristol showed their collective asses by refusing to even acknowledge it.

One cool thing was this:

How neat is that, eh? Every 'Canes player wore a Francis jersey for warmups.

The ceremony was quite moving, and really very simple. The Mighty Forslund served as master of ceremonies (and did a wonderful job), and The Eternal Captain led the Hurricanes out onto the ice one last time. The folks in Section 328 started a "RONNIE FRANCIS!" chant that wound up getting picked up by every section, and stopped only when the man of the hour started to speak.

The whole thing is here.

Some folks were a little annoyed by little ticky-tack things, but honestly? I thought they did a very good job. It wasn't a big overblown gaudy thing like Messier's number retirement was, and it took exactly as long as it needed to take. It was, in all ways, a lot like Ron Francis--low-key and businesslike, with a minimum of hoopla and a lot of class.

Farewell, Mr. Francis. Thanks for the great memories.