Let me begin by saying that when I first tuned into the CanesCast, it was in a move to learn more about the Carolina Hurricanes as a franchise. I knew certain players, but I wanted to learn more. The Hurricanes, bolstered by up-and-coming young talent, began to stick out to me more or less a season ago. They would put a string of wins together and then lose a few and get set back. But the team grabbed my attention and I wanted a place to go where I could get regular input on the club. That is when I discovered the CanesCast.
The hosts of the CanesCast
When I checked out the first episode of the CanesCast, the name Mike Maniscalco meant nothing to me. And the only Mike Smith I knew of played goalie for the Calgary Flames. Yet it became clear early on that this duo (Maniscalco who is a web/TV host and Smith who is a web producer – both for the Canes) worked well together. The show highlights all the current and breaking news surrounding the team, giving detailed analysis of players, trades, and occasional Star Wars reviews.
How I came to know the CanesCast
I really started following the Carolina Hurricanes closely around the time Sebastian Aho and Noah Hanifin joined the league. I grew up a Bruins fan and for the most part had only ever followed the Hurricanes from afar. The B’s have trended up over the course of the last decade while the Hurricanes have generally struggled. Whenever the Canes would come to town it was expected to be a quick two points for the home team. That is not a dig, it really just was the reality of the franchise at the time.
A storm is coming
However, over the course of the last two to three years, the Hurricanes drafted players like Aho and Hanifin who have brought a glimmer of hope to an organization that has failed to qualify for the playoffs in the last nine seasons. Hanifin was recently moved in a trade with the Calgary Flames that sent him, along with teammate and fellow restricted free agent Elias Lindholm, north of the border to Alberta. The move to ship out two young players that still have a lot of potential seemed to go against trends that were putting Hurricanes fans back in seats. However, in return for Hanifin and Lindholm, the Canes received NCAA defenseman Adam Fox, defenseman Dougie Hamilton, and left winger Micheal Ferland.
Fox is a highly touted defensive prospect who has spent the last two seasons at Harvard University, where he has posted 68 points in 64 games. A near point-per-game average in NCAA hockey is no small feat for a d-man. With Fox, Hamilton – a now six-year veteran of the league, and Ferland – a third-liner coming off a career-high 21 goal season, the Canes managed a great return for two players in need of big contracts that the franchise wasn’t ready to hand out.
A bit of good luck
This all goes without mentioning the Hurricanes’ first round pick, 2nd overall, in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft; Andrei Svechnikov. Born in Barnaul, Russia, the 6’2″, 187 lb winger is the No. 1 marketing chip for the organization, which desperately needs to fill seats after finishing 29th out of 31 in attendance during the 2017-18 season.
Svechnikov’s star potential made him the clear second pick in the draft behind Swedish phenom Rasmus Dahlin. The 18-year-old somewhat fell into the Hurricane’s lap when the franchise jumped from the 11th pick in the draft all the way to second in the draft lottery. I’m sure no one in Raleigh is questioning the results of this years draft, and it could prove to be as early as the 2018-19 season that Svechnikov was the missing link needed to solve the Canes postseason woes.
‘Canes on the rise – a great time for podcasting
I anticipate the CanesCast will flourish as the team enters the new season, where the expectation for success will stir enthusiasm that will be expected to be maintained as the team searches for results on the ice. Look forward to the web’s Michael Smith and TV’s Mike Maniscalco as the pair continues to produce engaging coverage while their charismatic personalities bring you the latest news surrounding the team and its young stars.
As someone who looks at the Carolina Hurricanes from the outside, I would like to see the franchise succeed. In a non-traditional hockey market, attendance does only as well as the on-ice product. There are few fan bases around the league that fill seats in this way when the team on the ice struggles to perform. For new and veteran Hurricanes fans alike, my advise would be to pay attention to the team now. Be there as these young players rise and the organization turns a new page in its now 20-year history.
Tune into the CanesCast, you’ll be glad you did.