Local News

Carolina Hurricanes Not Immune To Tuesday's Terrorist Attacks

Posted September 13, 2001 3:06 a.m. EDT

— The Carolina Hurricanes have been unable to get their full squad to Florida for training camp. The Hurricanes practiced in Raleigh on Wednesday, but like many others in this country, they are deeply affected by Tuesday's tragic events.

The Carolina Hurricanes hail from countries around the world. They spend much of their lives in airplanes flying from one hockey game to the next. For them, the vision of international terrorists committing murder in the air is deeply personal.

"You just can't get over the shock of it. Everybody, sooner or later, is going to find somebody in their life who was lost yesterday. For us, that was Ace Bailey, the scout we had known since junior hockey," says Hurricane coach Paul Maurice.

Bailey was aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Maurice was supposed to be conducting training camp in Fort Myers, Florida. Part of his squad flew there Monday before the airports were closed. The others are grounded in Raleigh.

"In such an unsettling time, it's good to be at home with our families. We can help answer our children's questions," says Hurricanes captain Ron Francis.

For goalie Arturs Irbe who grew up under Soviet oppression in Latvia, the terrorist bombings threaten the American freedom he holds dear.

"This is a time when you need to know who is your friend and who is not your friend. This can't happen again," he says.