After a topsy turvy week in the Carolina Hurricanes-David Tanabe relationship, the nineteen year old defenseman signs a multiyear contract with the NHL team. This past week saw David Tanabe play in preseason games for the Hurricanes. David Tanabe refuse an offer from the Hurricanes. David Tanabe take off for Kootenay of the WHL. And, finally, David Tanabe sign with the Hurricanes.
Last week Tanabe impressed the Hurricanes in preseason so much, they had a spot on the final 23-man roster reserved for him. He was going to be their much sought after offensive defenseman. Two days before the September 30 deadline for returning junior eligible players to their teams, the Hurricanes summoned Tanabe’s agent, Lewis Gross, to Tidewater Virginia to negotiate. The first round draft pick turned down the Hurricanes offer and was prepared to head off to Kootenay. According to Gross, the $500,000 signing bonus was inadequate, particularly when compared to Barret Jackman’s $1million signing bonus with the St. Louis Blues. Tanabe was selected sixteenth in the 1999 NHL draft. Jackman was selected seventeenth.
On the plane ride back to Raleigh, Tanabe’s defensive partner, Glen Wesley, spoke with him. Wesley told WRBZ radio in Raleigh, he told Tanabe, “He could be getting advice that may be wrong.” Apparently Tanabe took this to heart and instead of flying to Kootenay, he went to his parents’ home in Minnesota for reflection. Tanabe told the Raleigh News & Observer, “The biggest thing for me was to go home and look at the big picture. What matters most to me is playing in the NHL and being a Carolina Hurricane and being in that new arena in Raleigh on October 29 for the first game.”
So now it looks as if that will happen to David as he rejoins the team at their practice facility in Raleigh on Monday, October 4.