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Guy Behind the Guy: Stand-up Guy

Tuesday, 02.17.2009 / 10:35 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Mike Sundheim
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Guy Behind the Guy: Stand-up Guy
A few years ago, after a tough loss at home, I wrote a blog about “stand-up guys,” describing how each Hurricanes captain stayed in the main locker room to answer to the media about the team’s defeat that night. It was during our Stanley Cup year, and I talked about how it showed the character of the team’s leadership, that those four men were ready and willing to accept the blame for the group’s shortcomings that evening.

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Over the years, we always seem to have guys I can count on to stick around and talk to the press, win or lose. From Jeff Daniels and Ron Francis to Kevyn Adams and Mike Commodore to Tuomo Ruutu and Ray Whitney, there are certain players that don’t have to be asked to come out and face the cameras.

The most consistent and longest-tenured of my media reliables will see his number raised to the rafters tonight. Looking back, it is almost hard to believe that Wes never won the media’s “Good Guy” Award, which is basically a recognition of a player’s cooperation with the media. I think that is because he was around for so long, and stood there so many times, that we all almost took him for granted as a consistent post-game quote source. It’s a small thing, but it’s yet another example of just the type of person Glen Wesley is, and why his jersey is going to the rafters for so much more than pure statistics.

It is no secret that Glen Wesley is a man of great character. I don’t like using the term “warrior” to describe an athlete, because I think that term should be reserved for those who literally fight wars. (Something Glen would no doubt agree with, being that he was the first NHL player to ever use part of his own time with the Stanley Cup to visit a military base, taking it to the Wounded Warrior barracks at Camp Lejeune.) But Glen played through unimaginable pain throughout his career – taking the ice with afflictions that would have you or me laying in bed moaning. He dove head first into this community, becoming the first player to live in North Carolina year-round and truly consider this his home. And he and his family represented values and integrity uncommon to professional sports these days (Though, thankfully, less rare in our sport).

A jersey retirement represents a special honor in professional sports – an honor more rare even than an entry into a Hall of Fame. Jersey retirements are not only about numbers and achievements on the playing field, court or ice, but about what an athlete meant to that particular franchise and community. After tonight, two Hurricanes numbers will hang in the RBC Center’s rafters, each representing different careers, bringing forth different emotions and separate memories. But one thing the numbers 2 and 10 both represent is character. They are numbers that each and every one of us can see and truly feel proud of the types of people that they symbolize – for our sport, our team and our community. Stand-up men, recognized forever.


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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81