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The Greater Greensboro Observer
April 14, 2004

Chilled Appetizers

By Brian Surette

Final notes from the frozen pond:
  • The Carolina Hurricanes' failure to win three games in a row during the 2003-04 season was just the second time (1980-81) in the franchise's 25-year history the team was unable to string together three consecutive victories.
  • The National Hockey League's 2004 Entry Draft for 18 year olds will be held at the RBC Center in Raleigh, June 26-27. The event is free and open to the public. Should the NHL owners and players' association fail to reach a new collective bargaining agreement by the September deadline and a lockout delay the start of the 2004-05 season (or cancel it entirely), the draft could be the last taste of top-notch hockey for some time. Trivia tidbit: this is the second time the Carolina organization has hosted the draft. The previous one was in 1994 when the team was the Hartford Whalers. In what may or may not be an omen, the start of the 1994-95 season was delayed over three months by a lockout.
  • Goalies ruled the recently completed NHL regular season. Not only did Phoenix's Brian Boucher establish new highs for consecutive shutouts (five) and scoreless minutes, but netminders combined for a record 192 shutouts overall. The old record of 186 shutouts was set during the 2000-01 season.
  • Josef Vasicek led the Hurricanes in goals with 19. The last time a franchise player failed to reach the 20-goal plateau was in 1994-95 when Geoff Sanderson notched 18 for the Whalers. Carolina was the only NHL team that failed to have a 20-goal scorer.
  • The ECHL celebrated its 16th season by welcoming its 50 millionth fan in March. In more than 11,200 games played, the average attendance is 4,486 per game.
  • When Brad Fast scored late in the third period to give the Hurricanes a 6-6 tie with Florida in the regular season finale, the defenseman became the 15th franchise player, and fifth in the last two years, to record a goal in his NHL debut.
  • Generals coach Rick Adduono was the in-studio guest of Ogi Overman's "Our Town" radio program on WGOS 1070 AM last Thursday, April 8 (along with Jack Umlauf and yours truly). Although his team missed the playoffs by a scant one point, Adduono was optimistic about next season. His only disparaging comments were directed at the Greensboro News & Record for what he perceived as their "negative coverage." The following day the N&R'S lead editorial criticizing the team seemed to vindicate Aduono's perception.