Good morning, North Carolina, and good morning, Insiders.
For the first time in something like 30 years, give or take, we saw blue sky. Imagine that! After a rainy weekend in New York that followed a rainy week in Los Angeles, we descended upon Raleigh with nary a cloud to be seen and deplaned in warm and mild weather. Never has a group of Southern Californians (+ transplants) been so enamored with a 70-degree day. Wednesday certainly qualified as among the most beautiful days on the road this season.
Raleigh is one of the more unique places that we visit on the NHL circuit. We don’t stay near downtown or any semblance of a large, centralized commercial area. This is my fourth time visiting, and the only buildings larger than two or three stories that I remember seeing are the hotels we’ve stayed at. It’s very suburban, with wide, divided boulevards criss-crossing a heavily wooded area. To my understanding it’s one of the more educated areas of the country; within 45 minutes are the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University, and an hour beyond those schools, Wake Forest University. The Research Triangle is emerging as one of the east coast’s electronic gaming hubs, to which I say: BRING BACK MARBLE MADNESS.
Sadly, it is not the epicenter of Munters research and testing, and there are no evaporative cooling devices 100% visible from this (lousy) second floor view. More visible: The end of this four-game road trip, and the start of this weekend’s All-Star celebration in Los Angeles. It’s time to pack up shop and head to the rink, Insiders. There’s plenty more to come from PNC Arena, where the Kings and Canes will meet at 7:00 p.m. local time for a game that will be broadcast live on FOX Sports West (and FOX Sports GO) by Ralph Strangis and Jim Fox, and on KABC 790 (and I Heart Radio) by Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans. There’s plenty more to come on a game day, Insiders. Let’s talk soon.