NC Sports Hall of Fame to Honor 2006 Hurricanes
Stanley Cup championship will be recognized as part of the “Great Moments” series
The 2006 Stanley Cup champions, along with Jim Beatty’s sub-four-minute mile, will become the second and third entries into the Hall’s “Great Moments” series, a permanent part of the Hall of Fame’s exhibit in the North Carolina Museum of History. The University of North Carolina’s 1957 undefeated basketball season became the first moment honored last year.
“It was no easy choice,” said Dr. Jane Brown, President of the Hall of Fame. “There have been so many outstanding sports accomplishments by North Carolina athletes and teams over the years that narrowing the field to only a few can be a daunting task. We are thrilled that these two moments for the ages will be joining last year’s choice, the 1957 Carolina basketball team that won the national championship, on our permanent list of ‘Great Moments’ as we celebrate the remarkable sports heritage of this state.”
Prior to the 2005-06 NHL season, the Carolina Hurricanes were picked by many hockey pundits to finish near the bottom of the NHL’s standings. But with a veteran core led by Captain Rod Brind’Amour, and a group of emerging young stars including Eric Staal, the team defied expectations to finish the regular season ranked second in the Eastern Conference.
In the Stanley Cup playoffs, the team battled back from a two-games-to-none deficit to beat the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, before topping the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres to advance to the Stanley Cup Final against Edmonton. The Hurricanes opened up a three-games-to-one lead on the Oilers, only to see Edmonton take Games 5 and 6 to force the deciding Game 7 in Raleigh. On June 19, 2006, nearly 19,000 fans stood from before the opening face-off until the well after the final buzzer as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in Game 7 to capture the Stanley Cup championship. Rookie goaltender Cam Ward, who began the playoffs as the Hurricanes’ backup, made 22 saves in the clinching victory, securing the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup playoffs’ most valuable player. When Brind’Amour lifted the Stanley Cup above his head following the game, it signified the first major professional championship in North Carolina sports history.
The Hall of Fame reception on May 9 is open to the public, with tickets available for $40. Please contact the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame to order tickets via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 919-845-3455.