Hurricanes Announce Wesley Night Details
First 15,000 fans to arrive Feb. 17 will receive mini-replica Wesley banner
The Hurricanes will honor Wesley prior to and throughout the game, beginning with a jersey retirement ceremony that will start at 7 p.m. sharp. Among Wesley’s special guests for the occasion will be members of his family and longtime teammate and Hall of Fame defenseman Raymond Bourque. The ceremony will be hosted by Hurricanes broadcaster John Forslund, and will feature video tributes to Wesley’s career, a speech by the honored guest and a final skate-around for the longtime Hurricanes defenseman. It will conclude with Wesley and his family helping to raise his No. 2 banner to its home in the RBC Center rafters.
Originally drafted third overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, Wesley completed his playing career ranked sixth on the NHL’s all-time list of games played by a defenseman, skating in 1,457 total games over 20 seasons with Boston, Hartford, Toronto and Carolina. The Red Deer, Alb. native debuted with Boston straight out of junior hockey in his draft year, and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team after earning 37 points (7g, 30a) and leading all rookies with a plus-21 plus/minus rating. Wesley played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1989, and completed his career with 128 goals, 409 assists (537 points) and 1,045 penalty minutes. He appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals four times, reaching the Finals with Boston in 1988 and 1990, and with Carolina in 2002 and 2006, capturing the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006.
The Hartford Whalers acquired Wesley on Aug. 25, 1994, in exchange for first-round draft picks in 1995 (Kyle McLaren), 1996 (Jonathan Aitken) and 1997 (Sergei Samsonov). Wesley went on to play 13 seasons for the franchise, and is the only player to have played for the Hurricanes in every season since the team relocated to North Carolina in 1997. He played more games (913) for the Hurricanes franchise than any player in the history of the team other than Ron Francis, and his 728 games played for the Hurricanes are the most of any player in a Carolina uniform. Wesley totaled 227 points (51g, 176a) for the Whalers and Hurricanes, and ranks 10th in team history in assists (176).
Wesley, 39, completed his 13th season with the Hurricanes franchise in 2007-08, leading all Hurricanes skaters in blocked shots (110) and finishing the season with one goal and seven assists (8 points) in 78 games played. He was selected by the Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association as its nominee for the 2007-08 Masterton Trophy, which honors perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.