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Guy Behind the Guy: A Boston Regular

Saturday, 12.20.2008 / 1:43 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
Carolina Hurricanes
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Guy Behind the Guy: A Boston Regular
The weather arrived in Boston yesterday with authority, dropping 10 inches or so of fluffy, white snow on Beantown. Brian Tatum managed to push our flight up close to noon, helping us get into town without delay or incident. Another person who made it into town for this afternoon’s game despite the weather is a regular around the visiting locker room whenever the Hurricanes are in Boston. 
Mike Sundheim
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John Aberdale has been helping out the Hurricanes equipment guys for 30 years now, dating back to before the Hurricanes franchise joined the National Hockey League. In the wee hours of the morning on Jan. 18, 1978, the roof of the Hartford Civic Center, the home of the World Hockey Association’s Hartford Whalers, collapsed under the weight of snow and ice. Obviously unable to continue playing in Hartford, the Whalers went back to their former home –Springfield, Mass. – where they would play their next two seasons, including the start of their NHL existence.

John was there in Springfield when the Whalers arrived to their temporary home, as the building in Hartford was reconstructed. “Basically the story is that he asked if we needed any help,” Bob Gorman said this morning. “And then just never went away.” He would continue to assist the Whalers equipment guys for their entire stay in Hartford, and even made the trip down to Carolina for the Hurricanes’ first training camp, helping the equipment guys settle into their new home.

“Abby,” as he is referred to around the locker room, has a day job – as a detective for the Special Victims Unit of the Springfield Police Department. But he continues to make the trip from Springfield to Boston each time the Hurricanes visit, and is seen as something of a good luck charm around the dressing room. Today’s trip took a little longer than most. The snow made the 90-minute trip into a 150-minute one. But nothing was going to stop Abby from being at the TD Banknorth Garden to see his Canes.

Enjoy this afternoon’s game against the Bruins, who had lost just one home game heading into today’s contest. Following the game today, the Hurricanes will travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens. That game will be available to viewers in North Carolina on The NHL Network, which is broadcasting the game across Canada and the United States.

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