Ice in his veins: Canes superfan keeps the faith

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- All it takes is a quick walk through Stephen Stack's house to know where his loyalties lie.

"I have every number that's hanging in the rafters," Stack said. "I have almost every newspaper article pertaining to the Cup."

That would be the Stanley Cup. Specifically in 2006, when the Carolina Hurricanes captured the famous old trophy.

Stack moved to North Carolina in 2001 and instantly became connected with the Hurricanes.

"We would go to the airport and we would be on the fence at 3 o'clock in the morning," he said. "Just shaking the fence we were so proud of them."

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Rabid Canes fan Stephen Stack shows off his man cave.

Stack's love for sports started at a young age.

"My father lost his hand in the 50s, and I became his right-hand person. I did all the lifting for him," Stack said. "At 7 years of age, I was hefting 100-pound bag of feed and pouring it for the cows."

Stack grew up in upstate New York and sports became his outlet.

"There was a major problem with me in school. It was an adjustment because I just wasn't getting the things I needed from my father," he said. "This big event hit me about sports and this 'aha' came into being. That's what got me started."

Stack, an athlete himself, found a connection in the Canes.

"Being married to him ... I mean he does everything Canes," said his wife, Anne Stack. "If we're going to do things together then I had to learn the Canes."

Stephen Stack has been a full season ticket holder since 2002.

"I have bobbleheads, you name it, I got it," he said.

His wife said she knew what she was getting into when she married him in 2015.

"There are times when it's like these tickets are pretty darn expensive to go watching a losing team," she said. "So maybe we should go with a smaller package. He never gave up hope and faith."

"I mean, it's something I look forward to," Stephen Stack said. "I get up every morning, I go check the website to see if there are any transactions or any news from the Canes. Even during the summer months when there's nothing going on."

His memorabilia collection runs deep.

"So this is all of the pucks for all of the games and the teams that we had to play," he said.

It is memories like those during the 2006 Stanley Cup run that helps him keep the faith.

"I still remember it. I get choked up," he said. "We knew that we were destined, but we didn't know if it was going to happen."

That year it did happen for the Canes, but the good days didn't last long. The team went from feast to famine.

"When they keep losing, it's tough to go," Anne said. "But, if you support the team, you support them during good and bad."

Stephen remains steadfast.

"Every time we score a goal I carry myself down to the bottom and I high-five all the way up," he said. "I will redo my schedule to make a game."

Despite the decade-long playoff drought, Stephen remains a loyal Caniac.

"That's my team, you know," he said. "I can relate to them."

Stack is teaching his grandchildren about the game of hockey and molding them into Carolina Hurricanes fans themselves.

He said he hopes this is the year he and the Caniac community can witness another playoff run.
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