The Carolina Hurricanes introduced a new celebration called the “Storm Surge” this season that as stirred the pot in the hockey world. If you don’t know what the Storm Surge is here’s a small description:
Following home victories the team starts clap with the crowd and encourages them to join in. Next the team does something fun on the ice, it changed every time. For example, this was the one from February 15th:
This celebration has been both praised and criticized by hockey fans and sports commentators alike. Some call it childish or dumb while others praise how it has built up the Hurricanes fan base this season.
The latest of the critics is none other than dried raisin Don Cherry. Cherry complained about the celebration saying:
“These guys to me are jerks. And I’ll tell you one thing, they better not do this in the playoffs. This is a joke.” (x)
The Hurricanes responded brilliantly, tweeting back with this meme and even making T-shirts that say “Bunch of Jerks” based off Cherry’s quote.
As for me, I’m on the side of the praises. Although it may seem dorky, take a step back and look at what the Hurricane are actually doing.
So far, the Storm Surge has created an air around the Hurricane’s team of being an actual fun game to go out and see. It invites everyone, not just hockey fans, into the arena to join in and be apart of this team. This is a big deal when you’re trying to strengthen your team and it’s culture. Culture is what makes or breaks a team these days.
Hockey sometimes gets worn down to the analytics, whose playing good this season, who isn’t. Who has this many goals and assists, whose statistically going to win the Cup. You can get sick of looking at numbers and stats all day long. That can drive people away and wear them down on the sport.
Not to mention that it can be hard to get kids into hockey, they need to feel apart of something to really fall in love with it. This celebration makes kids feel apart of what is happening on the ice and it creates more fans. More fans equals a bigger crowd following this team and that’s what really makes a team want to succeed when they have masses of people rallying behind them.
In recent years hockey has lost some personality. With the rise of social media and players every word being monitored, the game has turned players into robots. This can make it hard for people to really relate to the players and grow an attachment to the team itself.
“A 21-year-old coming into the league now is a hell of a lot different from a 21-year-old coming into the league just a decade earlier. Part of it is social media, and fear of getting caught actually doing things you’d expect a rich, young, single person to do,” Lazerus later goes on to add, “And part of it is the culture of youth hockey, how elite young players are built to be hockey automatons, their individuality bred right out of them.”
This Storm Surge celebration adds the personality that is sometimes missing from a team. You see the players joking around with their team and actually having fun on the ice in these celebrations. Fans get a glimpse of their personality that you don’t get from interviews and media days.
Overall, the Storm Surge is becoming a piece of the Carolina Hurricane’s identity and that’s not a bad thing. Carolina is one point out of playoffs, they’re on a 3 game win streak, and are having fun while doing it.
If you’re going to whine about something in a silly suit on T.V. maybe pick something that actually deserves to be whined about.
Featured Image: NHL.com