After a long, strenuous practice Monday at the RBC Center, most of the Canes were ready for some rest time at home later in the day.
Not Brandon Sutter and Justin Peters. They had more work to do -- at the Raleigh Rescue Mission.
Sutter and Peters volunteered to help serve dinner Monday night at the mission, and it was obvious their appearance was appreciated by those they served. More than 60 men and women -- some with small children -- filed through the line for a serving of beef tips, rice, peas, corn and beanie weenies, and many were smiling after having their plates filled.
For Sutter and Peters, that was worth the time. Canes assistant athletic trainer Doug Bennett was also on the serving line at the downtown mission, which opened in 1961. And there was Stormy, the Hurricanes mascot, who probably was the most favorite member of the Canes contingent, for young and old.
"We go to the rink for a couple of a hours a day, but especially for us young guys we don't have families to go home to or kids to take care of, if we can come do something like this and give a helping hand to people who need a hand, we're happy to do it," Sutter said.
To many, a meal is taken for granted. But not for many at the mission who may not have anywhere else to go.
"It's an eye-opener for us, a learning experience," Sutter said. "We're very lucky with what we have and lucky to have what we have. To help these people out is great.
"It's awesome. If there's any way to make them smile, I'm happy with it."
Monday's appearance is one of several conducted by the Hurricanes to extend their outreach in the community. Peters said it was his first time volunteering in a shelter.
"Sometimes you forget the little things and this puts things in perspective," Peters said. "We just come here one time, but there are people who volunteer and come here every day and doing the work all the time.
"It was great to see the smiles and especially the kids, who got a kick out of Stormy."
Both Sutter and Peters smiled when asked if they minded being upstaged by Stormy, who was asked to pose for a few photos.
"Maybe I'll have to dress up like a pig next time," Sutter joked.