25 June, 2006

Odds and Sods -- Draft, Canes Party, etc.

After many trials and travails, I finally got my CAMEDIA camera to cough up the pictures that I took at Tuesday's celebration in the RBC Parking Lot.

It was balls hot that day, by the way.

So I get this call from my pal Brian, who says "Get some clothes on, you're going to the party." (I'd just gotten out of a post-work shower)

I said "What?" Because a mild hangover plus still being in shock from Monday night = hazy AQ

Brian replied, "I'll be there in 10 minutes" and hung up. So I went and got dry clothes on (because not only was it balls hot outside, it was bloody humid, too) and found this waiting for me in the bedroom:



AND Maximilian--all looking at me like "what the hell makes you think you're leaving without feeding us?"

And when little Merlin glares at you, you know you're in trouble. So I had to feed the Chancellors before I hied off to the RBC.

On the way, Brian and I listened to XM in the car, and got a real treat:

Aaron Ward is always a great interview--very articulate, very smart. He's got a hell of a future in broadcasting whenever he decides to retire. He sounded really hoarse that day, though, because of all the hootin' and hollerin' from the other night.

Got to the RBC, and the place was already crazy. Some folks have tried to make an issue of there being "only" 30,000 people showing up for the Hurricanes' victory party--but it was covered live on WRAL-TV and other local news outlets. If nobody cared about the Hurricanes here, don't you think it'd have been ignored by everyone (including Tom "Douchebag" Sorenson of the Charlotte Observer)? I sure do. But what do I know, I've only lived here for years and know how things work here better than somebody north of the 49th Parallel (or, for that matter, the Virginia state line).


Most of my pictures of the players came out rather craptacular because my camera is an old Olympus D-360L (and because I had a metric assload of people in front of me that got hands and stuff in front of the viewfinder), so I decided to take random shots and comment on those.

I had to take this picture on the sly, because these people did NOT want to be photographed at all. It was so funny--they've got little airline bottles of Jim Beam (which is what Laughing Boy on the right is untwisting with his teeth), and they're putting the contents in cups of Coke and trying to do it on the sly so that nobody will see them and either 1) say something or 2) take their Beam away.

Because, you know, I'm all about some Beam and Coke with a side of sarcasm.

And then we have these two chaps, who just amused the piss out of me.

They were standing on a Coleman cooler so they could see over the rest of the crowd, and every time a player would go by they'd holler at him like they'd known him for years--which greatly amused the players (but annoyed a few of the people around them). I wish I'd gotten a picture of the two of them hugging each other atop their perch (because they weren't feeling very stable for a moment or two), but at that point I was feeling the onset of heatsickness and had to retire to the Rex Healthcare tent.

Here's a fan kickin' it old-school. There were a surprising number of people wandering around wearing Whalers gear, which made me happy.

Here's a shot of the people that were lined up all along the "media access" area near the stage, where the parade vehicles lined up and the players went meandering over to the stage. Bret Hedican had the most fun with the crowd in this area, trotting along and high-fiving everybody that had their hands out. He was one happy-happy elf, I tellyer.

This shot is from earlier in the day. On the left we have Brian, wearing a shirt that I and another friend printed up four years ago for the Great Run of 2002 (the graphic was done up for us by a Canadiens fan, btw). On the right is another guy wearing one of the new Champs t-shirts, with the roster on the back.

The speech that the Warchief gave was great--very much from the heart, and I don't think anyone around me had dry eyes when he was done. I honestly don't know that I've ever been prouder of this team than I am right now.

The Draft was kinda meh, as far as the 'Canes were concerned--word's come out that Ray Shero had told JimR that any deal involving Jack Johnson for the number 2 pick would have to have Andrew Ladd thrown in with it.

Pardon me while I fall down laughing at that.

I wasn't expecting a lot to come out of this season's Draft, from the Hurricanes' end--everything outside the Top 10 was more of a crapshoot than in most Draft years, so there you go.

So, about that glossary that was suggested to me by a couple folks: If I tried to explain every little reference I make, it would possibly be the longest post in the history of blogs. I reference a lot of movies, TV shows, and so on. I can try to make it simple, but that insults your intelligence--and I'd like to think that hockey fans are smart people.

But I'll try to think of something to at least explain the nicknames for some players (like "Joe, Lord of Evil")--which will probably be a collection of nutbar stories from my season ticket holder days.

Just sayin'.