Tampa Bay Lightning
Yes the Tampa Bay Lightning. Why are they the perfect opponent? They check pretty much all the boxes. They are one of the six teams that have not played an outdoor game in the NHL (the other three are the Panthers, Vegas, and Coyotes). They are a big market team, with their current average attendance sitting at eighth in the league. While they aren’t a division rival they are a conference rival.
This would put the battle of the south back on the table as the two arguably largest teams in the south east. It could also be considered the battle of the pirate states as both the Carolinas and Florida have a history with pirates. But even more interestingly this would be a battle of teams with diagonal jerseys:
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Hear me out, home red jerseys for Carolina, but instead of the regular Hurricanes logo, go with white diagonal lettering spelling out CANES and the storm flags on the shoulders much like the new aways. White offset on the arms and black edged warning flags at the bottom. Red Helmets with white 3D decals. Basically an inverse of the new away jerseys.
On the other end of the ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning their deep blue Jerseys but instead of the regular lightning logo, we have white diagonal lettering spelling out BOLTS with their regular thunderbolts on the shoulders, not much unlike their third jersey from 2014-2015 (seen below). Black offset at the arms and white trim at the bottom. Blue helmets with white 3D decals.
Red versus Blue. How clean and beautiful would that be. Now this is nowhere near a perfect concept and it is a perfect matchup for me individually. There are those who would rather us face another team such as Washington or even the Panthers. There is nothing wrong with that. I absolutely respect that. But for me, this would be the best alternative to seeing them face the Preds.
Question for CC readers: Which team would you like to see the Carolina Hurricanes face off against in an outdoor game at Carter finley?