The Hurricanes asked if Albright, a season ticket holder, would be interested in operating the Hurricanes’ Warning Siren 15 seconds before the team took the ice for their final warm-up last Wednesday when they faced off against the Atlanta Thrashers, in a game they would lose 3-2 in overtime.
Albright gladly accepted the offer.
Albright, flanked by his son Spencer — who plays goalie for the Winston-Salem Icehawks club hockey team, turned the air-raid siren wide open to the delight of a packed house at the RBC Center.
Albright couldn’t stop smiling when asked how much fun he had helping bring his favorite NHL hockey team to the ice just before the puck dropped.
“It’s just this amazing adrenaline rush being up there with the spotlight on you and having the fans watching you,” Albright said of the honor. “Then, you hear your name and see it on the jumbotron and when you start cranking on that big siren and hear the noise and feel the energy from the crowd as they get louder and louder, it’s really hard to put it into words. It was a great experience and I was honored that they thought enough of me to ask me to do that. I loved it.”
The tradition of sounding the warning siren began at the beginning of the 2008-09 season on Oct. 10, 2008 when the Hurricanes hosted the Florida Panthers in their home opener.
Before each home game, a celebrity, season ticket holder, corporate sponsor or fan operates the Hurricanes warning siren to bring the team on the ice.
P.J. Avetta, manager of sales and client services with the Hurricanes, said he knew Albright was a perfect candidate to help bring the ‘Canes to the ice.
“The Carolina Hurricanes were excited to have Andy Albright, one of our loyal season ticket holders, sound the ceremonial warning siren to welcome the team onto the ice on (last) Wednesday when the team faced the Atlanta Thrashers,” Avetta said. “Andy handled the job like a pro, and his enthusiasm was contagious. He really helped get the crowd going, and it was great to have him on hand to kick-start the game.”
Past siren sounders include: Super Bowl Champion Bill Cowher, professional wrestling great Ric Flair, “Miracle on Ice” team member and 1980 Gold Medalist Jim Craig, NFL players, Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith, former Hurricanes players such as Glen Wesley and Bates Battaglia, N.C. State coaches Tom O’Brien, Sidney Lowe and Kellie Harper, a variety of Olympians including Cullen Jones, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Ryan Newman, Joey Lagano and fellow NASCAR drivers and more.
As Albright made his way back to the Champions Club afterward, he still had a smile on his face and had a message for the Hurricanes front office and team.
“I want to do it again,” Albright said. “It’s really one of the coolest things you can do in all of sports as a fan. I hope that I did a good job for them and I hope that they will call upon me to do it again in the future. It was such a rush and I’d like to thank Peter Karmanos, Jim Rutherford, P.J. Avetta and the entire organization for allowing me the opportunity. I loved every second of it.”
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ABOUT THE CAROLINA HURRICANES
The Carolina Hurricanes, based in Raleigh, N.C., are a member team of the National Hockey League. The Hurricanes belong to the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference and play their home game at the 18,680-seat RBC Center. The team was formed in 1971 as the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association, and moved into the NHL in 1979 as the Hartford Whalers, prior to moving to North Carolina in 1997. They won their first Stanley Cup in 2006, beating the Edmonton Oilers. The team hosted the NHL All-Star Game at the RBC Center in Jan. 30, 2011. For additional information on this topic, please call Mac Heffner at 336.227.3319 x1189 or email Mac at firstname.lastname@example.org.