SUN Hockey Pool

Rogers holds high mark for franchise

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- He's not exactly Sidney Crosby, but Mike Rogers expected a hero's welcome from Carolina Hurricanes fans wanting to celebrate the history of their franchise.

"It's gonna be scary when we step off the plane," joked Rogers before the Calgary Flames charter bolted Tampa for Raleigh.

The FAN 960 colour commentator, who has worked alongside the voice of the Flames Peter Maher for five seasons, is making his first trip to North Carolina since his beloved Hartford Whalers made the move to Tobacco Row in 1997.

The diminutive centre toiled for the club for four years in the WHA, and then its first two NHL seasons in 1979-80 and 1980-81 as Hartford.

His name can still be found in the record book as owner of the most points in a single season (105), and the two longest consecutive point streaks (18 games in 1980-81, and 17 in '79-80).

Rogers and former teammate Blaine Stoughton are tied with the single-season hat-trick mark with three.

"When you look in the yearbook, you see a couple of records you still hold as far as the franchise -- Hartford-slash-Carolina -- it brings a little bit more special meaning to it," said Rogers. "It was a real sad day for me when they did leave Hartford."

As an impressive 100-point sophomore season from the Canes' Eric Staal in 2005-06 threatened the 53-year-old Rogers' hold on his most coveted perch, the former Whaler kept his eye on the kid's progress.

"When that was going on, honestly, I was hoping he wouldn't (break the record)," said Rogers. "When you look back at your playing career, I didn't win a Cup so you almost have to look at personal achievements. That's one I'm quite proud of. I guess I was happy he didn't do it.

"Somebody's going to do it, it's just a matter of time."

His mark has stood for more than a quarter-century and appears to be safe for at least another season.

"It's been a long time," he said. "I'll just cling to it as long as I can."


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