With the news coming out about the potential of NHL expansion, small market teams are now starting to be thrown out as possible relocation options, and the Carolina Hurricanes are no exception.
When talking about the NHL expanding to Las Vegas, Dan Patrick, a former ESPN employee, claimed that “a financial person who’s involved in this” told him that a team would be in Vegas by 2016.
Patrick went on to say that the Carolina Hurricanes are one of two teams that could move to Las Vegas.
To start, Dan Patrick has a history of over-the-line claims about the Carolina Hurricanes and majority owner Peter Karmanos Jr. After the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, ESPN employees Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann called Karmanos a “scumbag” and a “douchebag” on radio. They were punished by ESPN for doing so.
Both Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick criticized Peter Karmanos Jr. for moving the team out of Hartford in 1997.
It’s a bit foolish to assume the Carolina Hurricanes would move out of Raleigh any time soon.
Despite yet another year without playoff hockey in Raleigh, the Hurricanes finished 23rd in the league in attendance. They finished above playoff teams like the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets. They also finished above teams like the New Jersey Devils, Winnipeg Jets, and New York Islanders. The finished one spot behind the Colorado Avalanche.
It seems incredibly more likely for the Arizona Coyotes or Florida Panthers, the teams that finished 29 and 30 last year in NHL attendance, to move to Las Vegas.
Dan Patrick has been a skeptic of the Carolina Hurricanes for years, and that likely won’t end. These rumors surrounding the possible relocation of the Carolina Hurricanes seem ridiculous at this point.
It’s also worth noting that Gale Force Entertainment, created by Peter Karmanos Jr. in 1998 to manage the Carolina Hurricanes and the PNC Arena, has a lease on the PNC Arena for the Carolina Hurricanes until 2024.
The fact that these rumors are even being spread is a sign to how Peter Karmanos Jr. has been running the team.
When you look at other teams in North Carolina, you see owners that invest in local businesses and restaurants. For example, Jerry Richardson, Owner of the Carolina Panthers, made his money in local food places like Bojangles and Hardee’s.
Michael Jordan, Owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is obviously know for his clothing and shoe line. He also has ties to NC through his college days at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Peter Karmanos Jr. spends a majority of his time in Michigan. The man doesn’t have great ties to the area like Richardson and Jordan do.
I think Dan Patrick’s statements were a bit premature and maybe inappropriate, but Peter Karmanos is the man who should be blamed for this in the first place.