Carolina’s AHL situation is not going to get better this season, and that is ok. Moving forward with the Hurricanes landing a second AHL team in North Carolina has been making headway. Anyone who claims to be a hockey fan in North Carolina needs to be pulling for exactly that!
Personally, Greensboro would be great pulling in the Carolina Thunderbirds name and playing in the Greensboro Coliseum. I love Greensboro and want to see it do well at any turn.
My second favorite option is promoting the Fayetteville Marksmen. Again, doing something with what is already there is preferable.
My third favorite option would be to plant a team in Raleigh, slap the Icecaps name on it and move on. PNC would be partially full on any given night, and tickets would be cheap. I live in Raleigh, and the prospect of hockey every night of the week, between the NC State Icepack, an AHL team, and the Canes is great.
Even if my wallet won’t maintain the thought, getting “The Most Junior Hurricanes Reporter” to more games, more often would be great for us. Thinking bigger, the state of North Carolina.
Even though the current AHL situation is not ideal, it really is better than a team outside North Carolina, and it is certainly (in my opinion) better for everyone involved than getting back in with the Charlotte Checkers.
Let me say that again.
The current AHL situation, farming players out to the four winds, is better than the Hurricanes getting back in bed with the Charlotte Checkers. For everyone involved.
My strong opinion is nuanced, if that is possible.
Look at the states (we’re going to exclude Canada) that currently have one (or more) NHL teams and two (or more) AHL teams.
Pennsylvania- Two NHL teams, three AHL teams.
New York- Three NHL teams, three AHL teams
Illinois- One NHL team, two AHL teams
California- Two NHL teams, four AHL teams
Those are four of the top ten most populated states in the country. Depending on how you measure it, those are also four of the wealthiest states in the country too.
Any idea of another state in those top tens, with an NHL and AHL team already?
That’s right. North Carolina.
A second AHL team in North Carolina is good on every level. Period.
- North Carolina bolsters it’s claim as a hockey state. Not to mention all monetary benefits.
- Charlotte benefits from fans coming to watch the Checker face the second AHL team.
- Raleigh/Greensboro/Fayetteville gets help when the Checkers come to town.
- The Hurricanes benefit by having their AHL team close, the creation of a second fanbase under the Hurricanes umbrella, those fans being in proximity, and the overall atmosphere of “North Carolina is a Hockey State”
- We the fans win in every shape, form, and fashion. Surrounded by hockey at every level, we also get the secondary benefits of the tax revenues (at least in theory) of having hockey be yet another draw to the state of North Carolina. Those of us tied to Raleigh, Greensboro, or Fayetteville get those benefits on the local level as well.
North Carolina has been a hockey state for awhile. Anything to add to that is going to be icing on the cake. There is no way to lose with a second AHL team here in North Carolina. Great college hockey, two AHL teams, and an NHL team. Not many hockey fans can say they have that opportunity.