Six-year-old Will Salvatore was randomly chosen as this year’s lucky Caniac to win Play with the Canes. This is an event where the Hurricanes promotions team and select Hurricanes players, in this case Alexandre Picard and Patrick Dwyer
, come out to the winner’s house for street hockey, autographs, photos and a pizza lunch. This was Picard’s first event as a Carolina Hurricane and he was not to shy to introduce himself to his new team's fans.
Click here for photos of the event.
This year’s event took place in a family-friendly neighborhood on February 28 that was jam packed with Caniac faithful. In the middle of the Salvatore's cul-de-sac, they have painted the Hurricanes symbol with the manhole being the eye of the storm. When the neighborhood found out that Will had won, they decided to prepare for our arrival and repaint the logo.
In past years, the winners have been out on the black-top battling away as forwards and defensemen, and I loosely use those terms as there were no definite positions in this game, but not Will. He donned the goalie pads, which may have been a few inches too big for him, got between the pipes, and showed the Hurricanes players that he was not scared to stop a few shots from the professionals. At the end of the game, he even took Stormy’s spot in goal, taking what seemed like every kid in the neighborhood on in a shootout which finished with Dwyer and Picard taking on the enthusiastic goalie.
Afterwards, everyone went inside to have a plethora of food and beverages. Will took the players on a tour of the house, highlighted by Will’s room, which was decked out in Hurricanes apparel and items. Will’s bed was even hockey-oriented with his headboard being a hockey goal, so on and off the ice/black-top he is stopping goals.
Did I mention that Will’s dad and uncle are the infamous Tuxedo Twins from the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoff run?