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Tracking the Storm

Canes Get Locker Room Upgrade

Thursday, 01.17.2013 / 4:30 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Get Locker Room Upgrade

When Carolina Hurricanes players walked into their familiar locker room along the west side of PNC Arena on Sunday, it wasn’t so familiar anymore.

Michael Smith
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During the summer, the Centennial Authority, an appointed body that oversees PNC Arena, approved renovations of the Hurricanes locker room – from the lockers to the player lounge to the bath facilities to the wall art. It was the first major construction the room has seen since the building opened just over 13 years ago.

“The room was really outdated compared to other buildings, and rightfully so. At this stage of where we’re at the building, we expected that,” said Jim Rutherford, president and general manager of the Hurricanes. “With the way the new dressing rooms were being built, it was quite a bit different.”

At the start of last season, the organization began doing research into the amenities often found in newer dressing rooms. The equipment and training staff took notes and pictures in the numerous buildings they visited in order to report back to Dave Olsen, executive vice president and general manager of PNC Arena, Brian Tatum, vice president of team operations, and others.

Plans came together, and over the summer, the room received a top-to-bottom renovation that was kept away from prying eyes until this week.

“The Centennial Authority was great to work with,” Rutherford said. “They totally understood it.”

The result is a first-class facility fit for a professional sports team, one that proudly displays its history throughout.

“You walk through that room, and it’s really like the museum of the Hurricanes because you’ll see a picture in a certain place in the room and say, ‘Oh yeah, I remember that game.’ And you start talking about the game and all the things that happened,” Rutherford said. “That’s nice for all of us that have been there. But it’s really nice and important for new players to come in and see the tradition here, see what we’ve done and what we want to work toward in the future.”

One of the new players, Jordan Staal, was impressed with what he saw.

“It’s a great room,” he said, looking around. “It’s all redone now, and the guys seem to love it.”

The players who have been around for years were also caught gawking at the redesign. Even though it’s the same space, it feels like a completely new room.

“A lot of guys were excited when we heard about the new room,” Chad LaRose said. “We’ve got a ton of great guys here, and a ton of great guys have come through here. To see it on the walls is awesome.”

The locker portion of the dressing room was completely gutted, as the old, light-wood stalls were discarded in favor of new, dark-wood lockers. The corner lockers are angled to make the square room feel more rounded, and there are no longer dividers between the individual stalls, which makes the room feel more open.

A mural of various iconic images throughout the franchise’s history wraps the upper wall around the stalls.

Individual achievements, including Jeff Skinner’s Calder Trophy, Rod Brind’Amour’s Selke Trophies, Cam Ward’s Conn Smythe Trophy and Ron Francis’ Lady Byng Trophy, are honored along the wall leading into the locker area.

In addition, a number of memorable moments in the franchise’s history are pictured on the walls throughout the room. Team photos from each year dating back to the franchise’s time in Hartford line the walls leading back to the coaches’ offices.

The bike room is wrapped in similar fashion as the upper wall of the locker room; it features momentous photos and a smattering of Pete Friesen’s favorite buzzwords: commitment, character, composure and motivation, among others.

“Just coming in and seeing all the accomplishments of this organization alone and all the great players who came through here really gets the tingles going on your back,” LaRose said.

The memories of Steve Chiasson and Josef Vasicek are remembered with their framed jerseys hanging on the wall across from the bike room, and winners of the Steve Chiasson Award are recorded on a nearby plaque. Voted on by the players, that award is given annually to the player that best exemplifies determination and dedication while proving to be an inspiration to his teammates through his performance and approach to the game.

“The players are always a special group every year, and they have a special bond,” Rutherford said. “There are some sad remembrances and some great remembrances from games, series and winning the Cup.”

For good measure, the 2006 Stanley Cup Championship is the most notable of the achievements highlighted within the room. As the players enter the dressing room from the north entrance of the arena, sleek silver lettering spelling out “2006 Stanley Cup Champions” adorns the wall. A picture of the team taken on the ice the night of June 19, 2006, spans the height of the right wall that leads out to the bench.

It’s the last thing the players see before stepping onto the ice for a reason.

“It makes me want to get another one on the other side,” LaRose said.




1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48


E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60