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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 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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