Tracking the Storm

Jordan Takes It All In

Friday, 02.15.2013 / 7:00 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Jordan Takes It All In
Michal Jordan was walking to breakfast with Justin Peters Thursday morning in Chicago, in advance of the Charlotte Checkers’ morning skate.

Michael Smith
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Jordan looked at his cell phone. He had a missed call from head coach Jeff Daniels.

“I was kind of freaking out,” he recalled. “The thing that first came to my mind was that I got traded or something.”

He tried to call Daniels back but couldn’t reach him. So, he rushed to the rink.

“When I got there, the equipment guys started calling my name,” Jordan said. “I was like, ‘What’s going on here today?’”

Jordan went to the coaches’ office where Daniels relayed the news: He had a flight out of Chicago in an hour, en route to Raleigh. He had gotten his first NHL call-up.

His bag had already been packed. They weren’t sure if Jordan would play, but he’d at least take warmups at PNC Arena.

Getting the promotion to Carolina was the latest accomplishment in what has been a banner season for the 22-year-old Czech-born defenseman.

On Jan. 28, Jordan (and Peters) started for the Western Conference in the AHL All-Star Classic in Providence, R.I. The West, coached in part by Daniels, emerged victorious, 7-6.

“You see the best players from around the league that are on different teams,” Jordan said. “You know them on the ice, but it was great to meet them off the ice. Different personalities, different countries. It was fun.”

A week prior to the Classic, Jordan found out he was named a first-time All-Star in similar fashion to how he received the recall news.

“I got to the rink, and JD was like, ‘Mike, Petey. Come to my office,’” he recalled, the worst possible scenario again popping into his head. “I was like, ‘God, what’s going on?’”

He responded in a game that night by potting two goals, his first career multi-goal game. He added three goals in the following eight games, notching nearly a third of his AHL career goal output (14) in just over three weeks.

“I felt really good before Christmas. It just carried over into the next year,” he said. “It was just the right timing.”

Jordan’s recent performance made him a top recall candidate, even with Marc-Andre Gragnani, who has 73 games of NHL experience, in the mix.

With Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason both sidelined with lower-body injuries, the Hurricanes needed a reliable body to round out their group of six for Thursday’s game against Toronto.

That’s when Jordan got the call. Since then, he said he’s received countless congratulatory text messages from family, friends, former coaches and teammates, and he shares the accomplishment with them.

“It’s a big success for everyone who had a part,” he said.

Jordan checked into his Raleigh hotel at 3:30 Thursday afternoon, just a few hours from puck drop. He had time for a quick shower before catching a ride to the rink with Drayson Bowman and Bobby Sanguinetti.

Though he didn’t get any advice from Checkers teammates who had been called up to the big club (he only saw three players before rushing back to the Chicago hotel and then to the airport), assistant coach Dave Lewis told him to simply have fun. Jay Harrison also offered up a piece of wisdom for his fellow defenseman.

“Smell it. Watch it. Taste it. Enjoy it,” Jordan said Harrison told him.

And did he?

“It was awesome,” he said with a big smile, even after a night in which he admits he didn’t get much sleep. “I was tired, but I was moving around the bed. Switching sides. I still couldn’t believe it.”

Jordan logged 12:18 of ice time, all at even strength, in his NHL debut, as he played alongside Sanguinetti, a pairing that seemed comfortable and was effective. Head coach Kirk Muller noted the steady, strong play of the defense, Jordan included, after the game.

"Jordan played really well. That’s a big step – your first game up at this level coming from the minors,” he said. “I thought our six were pretty solid back there.”

Making the night even more special was the fact that Jordan’s wife and four-year-old son were in attendance.

“It was great to see that they were kind of part it too,” he said. “They’ll be back tomorrow (Saturday), so we’re going to get some time together and enjoy it.”

Canes head coach Kirk Muller said Friday that Pitkanen and Gleason, both day-to-day, will not make the trip with the team to Montreal.

Jordan’s stay with the Canes, once thought to perhaps only be fleeting, will now last a little longer, it seems. And he’ll be on one of hockey’s premier stages Monday night.

“It’s been a great ride the last couple of months,” he said.



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72