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Monday debate: Skinner fever

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Jeff Skinner is the youngest All-Star ever. In the past few days, the Canes rookie was mobbed everywhere he went.

While he's not too fond of all the Justin Bieber comparisons, Skinner did get teen-idol treatment the past few days -- that's undeniable. He had a full schedule of All-Star Game activities and it had to be draining. Oh by the way, the Canes have some important games left and are trying to make the playoffs.

Question: was it a little too much for an 18-year-old who has scored 18 goals in the National Hockey League? If not, what is it about Jeff Skinner that appeals so much to so many fans?

The floor is open.

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I'm sure the staff and

I'm sure the staff and senior players are keeping an eye on Skinner virtually 24 hours a day. If he veers from the straight and narrow, somebody will speak to him. Meanwhile, he's just getting the attention that his play deserves. I don't think the Canes are cynically hyping him to manipulate ticket sales or fan interest.

All-Star weekend

Had a great time this weekend at the All-Star festivities. What I've been reading about what our Canadian friends are saying about this weekend has changed their minds about hockey in the south. Loved what Pierre Mcguire said about the All-Star game. Maybe now we can get the recognition we deserve. Hockey belongs in Carolina. We've had the draft, the stanley cup, and now the all-star game. Now it's time for the Winter Classic.

Winter Classic

I don't think we'll ever host the Winter Classic - it's not reliably cold enough on New Year's Day here for an outdoor game!  But the All Star festivities were definitely a big success.

Skinner at the ASG

I thought Skinner did a great job of avoiding being a showboat and trying to score without blasting shots at the goalie.  His game is based on driving the net with all he has; and it was a fine balance between giving the fans a show and avoiding being a showoff.  I thought it showed maturity that he didn't try to dazzle the crowd or the other team with crazy moves. 

  The entire Hurricanes organization from top to bottom showed tremendous class; and I couldn't be prouder of Raleigh, the Canes players, the Canes organization, and all the Caniacs.  Skinner deserves the praise he is receiving; and Staal and Ward also deserve tremendous praise for their graciousness and class. 

Couldn't agree more.

Couldn't agree more. I thought he handled himself with poise and class.

Talked to a lot of old hockey buddies from around the league who are now suits with other teams. They are all impressed with him and that all they see and hear is how he comes across as humble, genuine kid. Those that talk to active players all said that most really like the kid because of his attitude and respect for the game. But his skill level is also fully acknowledged. I heard a lot of comparisons in his game to a first year Sidney Crosby.

The Canes organization has also seen a tremendous escalation in the media attention he is getting wherever they travel. Kept hearing how glad they are that he is such a humble, grounded kid. 

As for the game, let's keep it in perspective.... he is an 18 year old kid playing with guys he has likely idolized. Even with all that he handled the puck well and had some highlite reel plays.  But he did seem a bit overanxious and was often too deep in the slot and didn't give himself a great shooting angle. Otherwise he could easily have scored 2 or 3 against Thomas  and his linemates were having a blast trying to set him up.

From the downtown activities to the tailgating, to the actual events and even the Versus "after party" with the players.... just way too much fun. And my "suit" friends from other teams kept telling me that the organization, city,events and fans were as good as or better than  any All Star event they have ever been to. As one said.... it felt more like an Original 6 hockey town.  Couldn't have been more proud of my adopted home (and team)!!

My hope...

is that his dad stuck around at least until this morning and told him to take out the garbage before he left for practice.

Sounds like a crazy comment...

But you are right on.  The kid seems really grounded, and hopefully, someone is keeping him there. 

My hope for Skinner is that

My hope for Skinner is that he keeps that big smile on his face and that love and passion for the game when he turns 25 and beyond.  The reason the kid is such a hit is because the fans love his infectious personality and passion for the game.  Never taking himself too serious, never forgetting that you have to fun to really enjoy what your doing...a good life lesson for us all, if you really are not enjoying what your doing your probably not a real fun guy to be around and certainly wont be smiling like Jeff Skinner.  The kid has the world on a string right now, the sky is the limit for him with that kind of talent and skill, I hope he matures into the elite player that stays in Carolina for many years to come.

 

   

Too Much

for Skinner and that showed up in the game. He will settle down in the next day or so and be his old self

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at chip.alexander@newsobserver.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.
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