Carolina Hurricanes

Last updated

Carolina Hurricanes
Hockey current event.svg 2019–20 Carolina Hurricanes season
Carolina Hurricanes.svg
Conference Eastern
Division Metropolitan
HistoryNew England Whalers
19721979 (WHA)
Hartford Whalers
19791997 (NHL)
Carolina Hurricanes
Home arena PNC Arena
City Raleigh, North Carolina
ColorsRed, white, gray, black [1] [2]
Media Fox Sports South
ESPN The Fan (99.9 FM)
The Buzz (620 AM)
Owner(s) Tom Dundon
General manager Don Waddell [3]
Head coach Rod Brind'Amour [3]
Captain Jordan Staal [4]
Minor league affiliates Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL)
Stanley Cups 1 (2005–06)
Conference championships2 (2001–02, 2005–06)
Presidents' Trophy0
Division championships3 (1998–99, 2001–02, 2005–06)
Official website

The Carolina Hurricanes are a professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Hurricanes play their home games at the 18,680-seat PNC Arena (formerly known as RBC center).

Ice hockey team sport played on ice using sticks, skates, and a puck

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.

Raleigh, North Carolina Capital of North Carolina

Raleigh is the capital of the state of North Carolina and the seat of Wake County in the United States. Raleigh is the second-largest city in the state, after Charlotte. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees, which line the streets in the heart of the city. The city covers a land area of 142.8 square miles (370 km2). The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population as 469,298 as of July 1, 2018. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The city of Raleigh is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in present-day Dare County.

The National Hockey League's Metropolitan Division was formed in 2013 as one of the two divisions in the Eastern Conference as part of a league realignment. It is also a successor of the original Atlantic Division and one of the two successors to the Southeast Division. Six of its teams were previously together in the Patrick Division from 1981 to 1993. It is the only NHL division without a Canadian team, with five of the division's clubs located in either the New York City area or in Pennsylvania.


The franchise was formed in 1971 as the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Whalers saw success immediately, winning the Eastern Division in the WHA's first three seasons, as well as becoming the inaugural Avco World Trophy Champions to cap off the 1972-73 season. The Whalers again competed for the World Trophy in 1978, this time falling short to the Winnipeg Jets in a rematch of the 1973 Finals. The franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as part of the NHL–WHA merger, renaming themselves the Hartford Whalers . The team relocated to North Carolina in 1997, rebranding themselves as the Hurricanes. Carolina advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 2002, where they were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1. The Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup over the Edmonton Oilers in seven games, giving the state of North Carolina its first major professional sports championship.

World Hockey Association Defunct ice hockey major league from 1972 to 1979

The World Hockey Association was a professional ice hockey major league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. It was the first major league to compete with the National Hockey League (NHL) since the collapse of the Western Hockey League in 1926. Although the WHA was not the first league since that time to attempt to challenge the NHL's supremacy, it was by far the most successful in the modern era.

Avco World Trophy

The Avco World Trophy, also known as the Avco Cup, is the playoff championship trophy of the defunct World Hockey Association (1972–1979). The trophy's naming rights were sold to the former Avco Corporation, a defense contractor who bought the rights to advertise their consumer finance division. The trophy was mocked by some for its corporate sponsorship and never developed anything approaching the significance and sentiment of the Stanley Cup, its National Hockey League rival. Still, the cup's design was often seen as creative in that it involved a freely-floating etched crystal globe embedded in the "stem" of the cup. The cup was designed by Frank Bonnerkopf of Boise, Idaho.

The 1979 merger of the NHL and WHA was the culmination of several years of negotiations between the National Hockey League (NHL) and the World Hockey Association (WHA) that resulted in the WHA and all of its surviving franchises folding in return for the owners of four of the WHA's six surviving teams being granted expansion franchises that commenced play in the NHL for the 1979–80 season. The agreement officially took effect on June 22, 1979. The merger ended the seven-year existence of the WHA and re-established the NHL as the lone major league in North American professional ice hockey.

Franchise history

New England/Hartford Whalers (1971–1997)

The New England Whalers were established in November 1971 when the World Hockey Association (WHA) awarded a franchise to begin play in Boston, Massachusetts. For the first two years of their existence, the club played their home games at the Boston Arena and Boston Garden. With the increasing difficulty of scheduling games at Boston Garden (owned by the NHL rival Boston Bruins), the owners decided to move the team to Hartford, Connecticut, beginning with the 1974–75 season. While waiting for the completion of a new arena in Hartford, the Whalers played the first part of the season at The Big E Coliseum in West Springfield, Massachusetts. On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game in front of a sellout crowd at the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum, and would maintain its home there through 1997.

Hartford Whalers American professional ice hockey team

The Hartford Whalers were an American professional ice hockey team based for most of its existence in Hartford, Connecticut. The club played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1972 until 1979, and in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 to 1997. Originally based in Boston, the team joined the WHA in the league's inaugural season, and was known as the New England Whalers throughout its time in the WHA. The Whalers moved to Hartford in 1974 and joined the NHL in the NHL–WHA merger of 1979.

Boston State capital of Massachusetts, U.S.

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States, as well as the 21st most populous city in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 694,583 in 2018, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.

Massachusetts State in the northeastern United States

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of the population of Massachusetts lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

As one of the most stable WHA teams, the Whalers, along with the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets, were admitted to the NHL when the rival leagues merged in 1979. However, under pressure from the extant NHL team in the New England area, the Boston Bruins, the Whalers were compelled to rename the team the Hartford Whalers . The Whalers were never as successful in the NHL as they had been in the WHA, recording only three winning seasons. They peaked in the mid-to-late 1980s, winning their only playoff series in 1986 over the Nordiques before bowing out in the second round to the Montreal Canadiens, taking the Habs to overtime of Game 7 in the process. The next year, the club secured the regular-season Adams Division title, only to fall to the Nordiques in six games in the first round of the playoffs. In 1992, the Whalers made the playoffs for the final time, but were bounced in the first round in seven games by the Canadiens. Two years later, the team hired Jim Rutherford as general manager, a position that he would hold within the franchise for twenty years.

Edmonton Oilers Hockey team of the National Hockey League

The Edmonton Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Quebec Nordiques Former hockey team of the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association

The Quebec Nordiques were a professional ice hockey team based in Quebec City, Quebec. The Nordiques played in the World Hockey Association (1972–1979) and the National Hockey League (1979–1995). The franchise was relocated to Denver, Colorado in May 1995 and renamed the Colorado Avalanche.

Winnipeg Jets (1972–96) Former hockey team of the National Hockey League

The Winnipeg Jets were a professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They began play in the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1972. The club joined the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1979 after the NHL merged with the WHA. Due to mounting financial troubles, in 1996 the franchise moved to Phoenix, Arizona and became the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2011, The struggling Atlanta Thrashers franchise relocated to Winnipeg and restored the Jets name, although the prior Jets club history is retained by the Arizona club.

The organization retains many Whalers connections among its off-ice personnel; in addition to many members of executive management and the coaching staff, broadcasters Chuck Kaiton, John Forslund and Tripp Tracy (at the time a minor-league player), and equipment managers Wally Tatomir, Skip Cunningham and Bob Gorman all made the move to North Carolina with the team. Finally, the old goal horn from the Hartford Civic Center remains in use at PNC Arena.

Chuck Kaiton American broadcaster

Charles "Chuck" Kaiton is the former radio play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League. He was with the team since the 1979–80 season, their first in the NHL while they were still the Hartford Whalers. He never missed a game in the team's NHL history; the franchise came over from the World Hockey Association in the same year Kaiton became their announcer.

John Forslund American sports announcer

John Forslund is the television play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes. He has been with the team since 1991 and has been calling games since 1995.

Tripp Tracy American ice hockey goaltender

Emmet E. Tracy III, better known as Tripp Tracy, is a retired American professional ice hockey goaltender and is currently the television and radio color commentator for the Carolina Hurricanes. He spent four years playing goaltender for Harvard University of which the last two he was the starter. He was drafted 218th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft and later played two seasons in the ECHL and American Hockey League.

Move to North Carolina (1997–2001)

The Whalers were plagued for most of their existence by limited marketability. Hartford was the smallest American market in the league and was located on the traditional dividing line between the home territories for New York City and Boston teams. It did not help matters that the Hartford Civic Center was one of the smallest arenas in the league, seating under 16,000 spectators for hockey. The Whalers' off-ice problems were magnified when the start of the 1990s triggered a spike in player salaries.

Despite promising to leave the team in Hartford until at least 1998, franchise owner Peter Karmanos Jr. announced that the team would move to North Carolina for the 1997 season. Karmanos.jpeg
Despite promising to leave the team in Hartford until at least 1998, franchise owner Peter Karmanos Jr. announced that the team would move to North Carolina for the 1997 season.

Despite assurances made when he purchased the team in 1994 that the Whalers would remain in Hartford at least through 1998, in March 1997, owner Peter Karmanos announced that the team would move elsewhere after the 1996–97 season because of the team's inability to negotiate a satisfactory construction and lease package for a new arena in Hartford. On May 6, 1997, Karmanos announced that the Whalers would move to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina and the new Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) in Raleigh. Due to the relatively short time frame for the move, Karmanos himself thought of and decided upon the new name for the club, the Carolina Hurricanes, rather than holding a contest as is sometimes done. Later that summer, the team dropped the Whalers' colors of blue, green and silver for a new black-and-red scheme, matching the colors of the North Carolina State University Wolfpack, with whose men's basketball team they would share the arena in Raleigh. The Hurricanes inherited the Whalers' place in the Northeast Division.

Peter Karmanos Jr. American businessman

Peter Karmanos Jr. is the minority owner and chief executive officer of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey franchise. He served as their principal owner from 1994 to 2018. He also owned the Plymouth Whalers junior hockey club from its establishment in 1990 until 2015, and was the majority owner of the Florida Everblades from 1998 to 2019.

The 1996–97 NHL season was the 80th regular season of the National Hockey League. The Stanley Cup winners were the Detroit Red Wings, who swept the Philadelphia Flyers in four games and won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years.

Research Triangle geographic region

The Research Triangle, commonly referred to as simply The Triangle, is a region in the Piedmont of North Carolina in the United States, anchored by the three major research universities of North Carolina State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as the cities of Raleigh and Durham and the town of Chapel Hill. The eleven-county region, officially named the Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill combined statistical area (CSA), comprises the Raleigh–Cary and Durham–Chapel Hill metropolitan areas and the Dunn, Henderson, Oxford, and Sanford Micropolitan Statistical Areas.

Unfortunately for the team, the ESA would not be complete for two more years. The only arena in the Triangle area with an ice plant was 45-year-old Dorton Arena; at 5,100 seats, it was completely inadequate even for temporary use. The Hurricanes were thus forced to play home games in Greensboro, 90 minutes west of Raleigh, for their first two seasons after the move. However, the team would be based in Raleigh and practice in nearby Hillsborough—effectively saddling the Hurricanes with 82 road games for the next two years. This choice was disastrous for the franchise's attendance and reputation. With a capacity of over 21,000 people for hockey, the Greensboro Coliseum was the highest-capacity arena in the NHL. However, Triangle-area fans balked at making the 80-mile drive down I-40 to Greensboro. Likewise, fans from the Piedmont Triad mostly refused to support a lame-duck team that had displaced the popular Greensboro/Carolina Monarchs minor-league franchise. As a result, while the opening game drew a sellout (and is still the largest home crowd in franchise history), most games in Greensboro attracted crowds of 10,000 or fewer. The crowds looked even smaller than that in the cavernous environment. Furthermore, only 29 out of 82 games were televised (over-the-air and cable combined), and radio play-by-play coverage on WPTF was often pre-empted by Wolfpack basketball (for whose broadcasts WPTF was the flagship station), leaving these games totally unavailable to those who did not have a ticket. With by far the smallest season-ticket base in the NHL and attendance figures routinely well below the league average, Sports Illustrated ran a story titled "Natural Disaster", [5] and ESPN anchors mocked the "Green Acres" of empty seats; in a 2006 interview, Karmanos admitted that "as it turns out, [Greensboro] was probably a mistake." [6] Under the circumstances, the Hurricanes managed to stay competitive, but still finished last in the Northeast Division with 74 points, nine points out of the playoffs.

For 1998–99, the Hurricanes curtained off most of the upper deck lowering the Coliseum's listed capacity to about 12,000. Attendance continued to lag. Most games attracted crowds of well under 10,000. Conversely, on the ice the Hurricanes' performance improved led by the return of longtime Whalers' captain Ron Francis, Keith Primeau's 30 goals, and Gary Roberts' 178 penalty minutes. They tallied their first winning season and playoff appearance since 1992. They also won the newly formed Southeast Division by eight points, only their second division title as an NHL team (following the 1987 Adams Division title as the Whalers). Tragedy struck hours after the team's first-round loss to the Bruins, when defenseman Steve Chiasson was thrown from his pickup truck and killed in a single-vehicle drunk-driving accident.

Despite a move to the newly completed arena in Raleigh, the Hurricanes played lackluster hockey in 1999–2000 failing to make the playoffs. This season was marked by an ultimately franchise-altering mid-season trade which saw Primeau dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange that included future captain Rod Brind'Amour. In 2000–01, however, they claimed the eighth seed, nosing out the Boston Bruins, and landed a first-round match-up with the defending champions, the New Jersey Devils. The Devils eliminated the Hurricanes in six games. Down 3–0 in the series, the Hurricanes extended it to a sixth game, thereby becoming only the tenth team in NHL history to do so. Game 6 in Raleigh featured their best playoff crowd that year, as well as their loudest. [7] Despite the 5–1 loss, Carolina was given a standing ovation by their home crowd as the game ended, erasing some of the doubts that the city would not warm up to the team. [8]

Stanley Cup Finals and slow starts (2001–2006)

The Hurricanes made national waves for the first time in the 2002 playoffs. They survived a late charge from the Washington Capitals to win the division, but expectations were low entering the first round against the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils. However, Artūrs Irbe and Kevin Weekes were solid in goal and the Hurricanes won two games in overtime as they defeated the Devils in six games. Their second-round matchup was against the Montreal Canadiens, who were riding a wave of emotion after their captain Saku Koivu's return from cancer treatment. In the third period of Game 4 in Montreal, down 2–1 in the series and 3–0 in the game, Carolina would tie the game and later win on Niclas Wallin's overtime goal. The game became known to Hurricanes fans as the "Miracle at Molson"; Carolina won the next two games by a combined 13–3 margin over a dejected Habs club to take the series.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, Carolina met the heavily favored Toronto Maple Leafs. In Game 6 in Toronto, the Leafs' Mats Sundin tied the game with 22 seconds remaining to send it to overtime, where Carolina's Martin Gelinas would score to send the franchise to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance. During this series, several Hurricanes fan traditions drew hockey-wide media attention for the first time: fans met the team at the airport on the return from every road trip and echoed football-season habits honed for games across the parking lot by hosting massive tailgate parties before each home game, a relative novelty in the cold-weather-centric NHL. Inside the building, the CBC's Don Cherry lauded the RBC Center as "the loudest building in the NHL", praise that would be echoed in 2006. [9]

In the Stanley Cup Finals, Carolina would face the Detroit Red Wings, thought to be the prohibitive favorite all year. Though the Hurricanes stunned the Wings in Game 1 when Ron Francis scored in the first minute of overtime, Detroit stormed back to win the next four games. Game 3 in Raleigh featured a triple-overtime thriller eventually won by Detroit's Igor Larionov, the oldest player to score a last-round goal.

Eric Staal was drafted by the Hurricanes in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was named team captain in 2010. He was later traded to the New York Rangers. Eric Staal 2013-2.jpg
Eric Staal was drafted by the Hurricanes in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was named team captain in 2010. He was later traded to the New York Rangers.

The Hurricanes looked poised to pick up where they left off in the 2002–03, but never recovered from a 10-loss January and finished dead last in the league with 61 points. After a similarly slow start to the 2003–04 season, Paul Maurice, who had been the team's coach since midway through their next-to-last season in Hartford, was fired and replaced with former New York Islanders bench boss Peter Laviolette. Under Laviolette, Weekes remained tough, but the offense was suspect; center Josef Vasicek led the team with a mere 19 goals and 26 assists for 45 points. Many of the new fans attracted to the team (and to hockey itself) during the 2002 playoff run lost interest and attendance declined. One of the few positive results of these losing years was the team's drafting of Eric Staal in 2003.

Stanley Cup champions

The outcome of the 2004–05 NHL lockout led to the shrinking of the payroll to $26 million. The Hurricanes turned out to be one of the NHL's biggest surprises, turning in the best season in the franchise's 34-year history (including the years as the Whalers). They finished the regular season with a 52–22–8 record and 112 points, shattering the previous franchise records of 94 points (in the WHA) set by the 1972–73 Whalers and 93 points (in the NHL) set in 1986–87. It was the first time ever that the franchise had passed the 50-win and 100-point plateaus. The 112-point figure was good for fourth overall in the league, easily their highest overall finish as an NHL team (tied with the third-overall Dallas Stars in points, but with one fewer win than the Stars) and second in the East (one point behind the Ottawa Senators). The Hurricanes also ran away with their third Southeast Division title, finishing 20 points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Attendance increased from 2003–04, averaging just under 15,600 per game, and the team made a profit for the first time since the move from Hartford. [10]

In the playoffs, after losing the first two games of the conference quarterfinal series against the Montreal Canadiens, Laviolette lifted goalkeeper Martin Gerber, who had been struggling to regain his form after playing through a bout of intestinal flu, in favor of rookie Cam Ward. The Hurricanes went on to win both games in Montreal, tying up the playoff series and turning the momentum around, winning the series on a Game 6 overtime goal by Cory Stillman. Carolina then faced the New Jersey Devils in the conference semi-finals, which proved surprisingly one-sided, as the Hurricanes beat the Devils in five games. Stillman struck again, once again scoring the series-winning goal.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Hurricanes faced the Buffalo Sabres, who had finished just one spot behind the Hurricanes in the overall standings. The contentious series saw both coaches – Lindy Ruff and Laviolette – taking public verbal shots at each other's team, but in the deciding Game 7, the Hurricanes rallied with three goals in the third to win by a score of 4–2. Rod Brind'Amour scored the game winner as the Hurricanes reached the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in team history.

The Hurricanes celebrate following their game seven victory in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. RBC Center Stanley Cup Championship.jpg
The Hurricanes celebrate following their game seven victory in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Stanley Cup Finals Hurricanes facing the Edmonton Oilers. The Hurricanes rallied from a 3–0 deficit in Game 1 to win 5–4 after Rod Brind'Amour scored with 30 seconds left. In Game 2, the Hurricanes shelled the Oilers 5–0 to take a two-game lead. The Oilers won Game 3 in Edmonton, 2–1, as Ryan Smyth scored the game-winning goal with 2:47 left to play. Carolina rebounded in Game 4 with a 2–1 victory, and came home with a chance to win the Cup on home ice. However, Game 5 saw the Oilers come back with a stunning 4–3 overtime win on a shorthanded breakaway by Fernando Pisani. In Game 6 in Edmonton, Carolina was soundly defeated 4–0; the only bright point for the Hurricanes was the return of forward Erik Cole from a broken neck that had sidelined him since March. In Game 7, before the second-largest home crowd in franchise history (18,978), the Hurricanes won 3–1, sealing the Hurricanes' first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. Ward was honored with the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the playoffs' most valuable player, becoming just the fourth rookie to be honored with the award. Several Hurricanes raised the Cup for the first time in their long NHL careers; Rod Brind'Amour and Bret Hedican had both played over 15 years without winning the Cup, while Glen Wesley, the last remaining member of the Hartford Whalers on the Hurricanes' roster, had waited 18 seasons. On the managerial side, general manager Jim Rutherford finally won the Cup in his twelfth year with the franchise since joining the Whalers in 1994.

The Hurricanes Stanley Cup championship marked the first professional major league sports title for a team from North Carolina. As well, they were the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup despite losing at least nine playoff games in that year; the 2011 Boston Bruins, the 2014 Los Angeles Kings, the 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins, and the 2019 St Louis Blues, are the only other teams to have achieved the feat.

Post-championship slump (2006–2017)

The Hurricanes were unable to follow up their recent success. Losing four players to free agency in the offseason and 222-man games to injury during the 2006–07, the team struggled throughout the regular season, [11] and once eliminated in the last game, the Hurricanes finished third in the Southeast and 11th overall in the Eastern Conference. [12] This finish made them the first champions since the 1938–39 Chicago Black Hawks to have failed to qualify for the playoffs both the seasons before and after their championship season, and the third champion overall to not defend its title after both the Blackhawks and the 1995-96 New Jersey Devils. In the 2007–08, Carolina again missed out as Washington Capitals stormed back to take the division title on the last day of the season, leaving the Hurricanes second in the division and ninth overall in the conference, and making the Hurricanes only the second club in NHL history to miss the playoffs for two seasons running after a Stanley Cup triumph.

In 2009, the Hurricanes acquired Jussi Jokinen through a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has played with nine different NHL teams before leaving for the Finnish Liiga. Jokinen 2009-02-26 498v1 wiki.jpg
In 2009, the Hurricanes acquired Jussi Jokinen through a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has played with nine different NHL teams before leaving for the Finnish Liiga.

After a slow start to the 2008–09 season, Cup-winning coach Peter Laviolette was fired in early December and replaced by his own predecessor, Paul Maurice. Teetering on the edge of the playoff picture again, the club, on February 7, acquired utility forward Jussi Jokinen from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and Carolina's fourth round draft pick in 2009, then reacquired winger Erik Cole from the Edmonton Oilers at the March trade deadline and proceeded on a 12–3–2 run to close out the season. The stretch run included nine straight wins, matching a franchise record from the 2005–06 season, and capped off a streak of 12 straight home wins, which set a new franchise mark. The team finished sixth in the Eastern Conference with 97 points, the second-most points in franchise history.

The Hurricanes' 2009 playoff run featured two tight series with dramatic finishes. Game 4 of the first round matchup with the New Jersey Devils saw Stanley Cup playoff history when Jussi Jokinen scored with .2 seconds left in regulation to win the game, the latest regulation game-winning goal in NHL history. Then, in Game 7, the Devils took a 3–2 lead into the final two minutes of the game at the Prudential Center in Newark before the 'Canes struck. With 1:20 to play, Tim Gleason saved a puck on his knees at the right point, passed it to Joni Pitkanen on the left boards, who then hit Game 4 hero Jussi Jokinen at the far post for the tying goal. Just 48 seconds later, Chad LaRose sprang Eric Staal for a solo down-ice rush to give the Canes 4–3 game and series wins; Staal's goal was the latest regulation Game 7 winning goal in playoff history. In the second round matchup with the top-seeded Boston Bruins, the 'Canes ran out to a 3–1 lead before the Bruins battled back for two wins. In Game 7 in Boston, Scott Walker scored the game and series winner 18:46 into overtime to send Carolina to the Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins, though, put a decisive end to the 'Canes' string, sweeping the series 4–0 on the way to their own Stanley Cup championship.

As a result of their surprise run, very few changes were made in the off-season. Veterans such as Aaron Ward, Andrew Alberts, and Stephane Yelle were brought in to help drive the team further, but things did not go according to plan. The Hurricanes experienced a 14-game losing streak spanning October and November, and midway through the year, the 'Canes replaced their only post-lockout captain Rod Brind'Amour with Eric Staal. Despite improved play during the second half of the season, they could not overcome the deficit from early on in the season. The Hurricanes would end up with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, eventually selecting Jeff Skinner from the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Brind'Amour retired over the 2010 off-season to take a coaching job with the club.

Jeff Skinner was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy for his rookie season performance in the 2010-11 season. Jeff Skinner canes2 2011-11-12.JPG
Jeff Skinner was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy for his rookie season performance in the 2010–11 season.

The 2010–11 season was widely expected to be a transitional year from the veteran-heavy, high-salary club that opened 2009–10 to a younger, cheaper base. The Hurricanes contended for a playoff slot for the entire season aided by Skinner's emergence as an offensive phenomenon who, as the youngest player in the league, would lead all rookies in points. Raleigh hosted the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in January, and Eric Staal captained a team he selected (opposite a team selected by the Detroit Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom) that featured Skinner (the youngest All-Star in NHL history), Cam Ward, and (for the SuperSkills competition) defenseman Jamie McBain. The Hurricanes went into the final day of the season able to determine their own fate, but lost 6–2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning to finish ninth in the East. [13] Skinner was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year, the first player in franchise history to receive that honor.

In December 2011, the Carolina Hurricanes fired coach Paul Maurice and hired Kirk Muller. On February 20, 2012, the Carolina Hurricanes signed Tim Gleason to a four-year, $16 million extension and two days later, on February 22, they also signed Tuomo Ruutu to a four-year, $19 million extension. Two months later the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they had signed Jiri Tlusty to a two-year deal that would pay him $1.5 million for 2012–13 and $1.7 million for 2013–14 (Gleason and Tlusty would eventually be traded to the Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets over the next few seasons). Despite the signings of Gleason, Ruutu, and Tlusty, the Hurricanes would finish fifth in the Southeast Division and twelfth in the Eastern Conference during the 2011–12 season, which forced them to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

On May 9, 2012, the 2006 Stanley Cup Champions Carolina Hurricanes' Game 7 victory was recognized as one of the NC Hall of Fame's "Great Moments" series. [14] During the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Carolina Hurricanes traded Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and their 2012 first round draft pick (Derrick Pouliot) to the Penguins in exchange for Jordan Staal, uniting the player with his older brother, Eric Staal. On March 25, 2013, the Hurricanes signed Alexander Semin to a five-year deal, worth $35 million. [15] However, in the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, the team would finish third in the Southeast Division and thirteenth in the Eastern Conference, which would make the team miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season after a strong start was cut short by an injury to starting goaltender Cam Ward.

Bill Peters was named the head coach of the Hurricanes in June 2014. He maintained the position until his resignation in April 2018. Bill Peters Hurricanes.jpg
Bill Peters was named the head coach of the Hurricanes in June 2014. He maintained the position until his resignation in April 2018.

Before the 2013–14 season, the Hurricanes were realigned into the new Metropolitan Division. They would finish seventh in the division during the 2013–14 season (ahead of only the New York Islanders) and would miss the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, which prompted management to fire head coach Kirk Muller. [16] In addition, longtime general manager Jim Rutherford was moved to an advisory role after the season with longtime Whalers/Hurricanes star Ron Francis announced as his replacement on April 28, 2014. [17] On June 19, 2014, Bill Peters was named head coach of the team. During the 2014–15 season, the team finished last in the Metropolitan Division and would miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. [18] After team captain Eric Staal was traded to the New York Rangers at the trade deadline, the team finished sixth in the division during the 2015–16 season. The Hurricanes finished seventh in the division in the 2016–17 season, missing the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season.

Tom Dundon and the "Bunch of Jerks" (2018–present)

Before the 2017–18 season, the Hurricanes unveiled new uniforms. On July 13, 2017, it was reported that Chuck Greenberg had sent Karmanos a letter of intent to buy the team for $500 million. [19] [20] On December 7, 2017, it was announced that Thomas Dundon signed an agreement to purchase the Hurricanes, [21] which ensured that the team would not be relocated. [22] The deal was finalized on January 11, 2018, with Dundon becoming majority owner and having a 61 percent stake in the team, while Karmanos retained a minority interest. [23]

Dundon wasted little time in overhauling the Hurricanes' front office. On March 8, 2018, the team announced that general manager Ron Francis had been moved to the role of president of hockey operations. [24] However, Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman reported that the "promotion" was likely in name only, noting that there were rumblings Francis and Dundon did not see "eye-to-eye". [25] Subsequently, coach Bill Peters resigned from his position on April 20, 2018, [26] to pursue a similar opportunity with the Calgary Flames (he ultimately replaced Glen Gulutzan as the Flames' head coach three days later), [27] and the Hurricanes officially fired Francis from the organization altogether on April 30, 2018, [28] leaving vacancies in both the head coach and general manager positions.

Early in the Hurricanes' search for a replacement general manager, it was reported that Dundon's salary offerings for the position could be prohibitive in attracting quality candidates. [29] Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported that the Hurricanes were offering "in the ballpark of $400,000 a year", [30] a fraction of the salary figures of many other teams' coaches, [31] let alone those of their general managers, who serve in a higher-ranking position. Leading up to Kypreos' report, candidates such as Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton, New Jersey Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald, and Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Mike Futa had all reportedly passed on the position. [29]

Ultimately, on May 8, 2018, the Hurricanes announced the hiring of former Atlanta Thrashers general manager Don Waddell as team president and general manager. Waddell had previously been serving as the team's interim general manager since the promotion of Francis. At the same time, it was announced that former team captain Rod Brind'Amour had been named head coach, after having served on the team's coaching staff as an assistant coach since 2011. [32]

On April 4, 2019, the Hurricanes won 3–1 over the New Jersey Devils, clinching a playoff spot for the first time since 2009 and only the second time since their Cup win. During their stretch run, the Hurricanes gained notice for their on-ice victory celebrations, which they called "Storm Surges." This led Don Cherry of Hockey Night in Canada to call the Hurricanes a "bunch of jerks." The Hurricanes adopted "Bunch of Jerks" as a battle cry, [33] even going as far as projecting it on the ice at PNC Arena before and after games. [34]

During the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs, on April 24, the Hurricanes defeated the defending 2018 Stanley Cup champions, the Washington Capitals, 4–3 in double overtime in game seven, winning their first playoff series since 2009. The team would then go on to defeat the New York Islanders in four straight games in the second round, recording the first best-of-seven playoff series sweep in franchise history, and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2009. [35] It was also the first time since 1993 that an opposing team (the Islanders), that swept their opponent in the first round, the Pittsburgh Penguins, would then go on to lose four straight and drop the series. [35] This trend however continued into the third round against the Hurricanes favor as they themselves were swept by the Boston Bruins, thus losing the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals. [36]

Minor league affiliates



Season-by-season record

This is a list of the last five seasons completed by the Hurricanes. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Carolina Hurricanes seasons

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

2014–15 82304111711882268th, MetropolitanDid not qualify
2015–16 82353116861982266th, MetropolitanDid not qualify
2016–17 82363115872152367th, MetropolitanDid not qualify
2017–18 82363511832282566th, MetropolitanDid not qualify
2018–19 8246297992452234th, MetropolitanLost in Conference Finals, 0–4 (Bruins)


Current roster

Updated October 10, 2019 [37] [38]

# Nat Player Pos S/G AgeAcquiredBirthplace
20 Flag of Finland.svg Sebastian Aho C L22 2015 Rauma, Finland
18 Flag of the United States.svg Ryan Dzingel LW L27 2019 Wheaton, Illinois
6 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Joel Edmundson D L26 2019 Brandon, Manitoba
4 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Haydn Fleury D L23 2014 Carlyle, Saskatchewan
13 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Warren Foegele LW L23 2014 Markham, Ontario
51 Flag of the United States.svg Jake Gardiner D L29 2019 Minneapolis, Minnesota
19 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Dougie Hamilton D R26 2018 Toronto, Ontario
56 Flag of Finland.svg Erik Haula LW L28 2019 Pori, Finland
48 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jordan Martinook  ( A )  Injury icon 2.svg LW L27 2018 Brandon, Manitoba
23 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Brock McGinn LW L25 2012 Fergus, Ontario
34 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Petr Mrazek G L27 2018 Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
88 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Martin Necas C R20 2017 Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic
21 Flag of Switzerland.svg Nino Niederreiter RW L27 2019 Chur, Switzerland
22 Flag of the United States.svg Brett Pesce D R24 2013 Tarrytown, New York
47 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg James Reimer G L31 2019 Morweena, Manitoba
74 Flag of the United States.svg Jaccob Slavin  ( A ) D L25 2012 Denver, Colorado
11 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jordan Staal  ( C ) C L31 2012 Thunder Bay, Ontario
37 Flag of Russia.svg Andrei Svechnikov RW L19 2018 Barnaul, Russia
86 Flag of Finland.svg Teuvo Teravainen LW L25 2016 Helsinki, Finland
57 Flag of the United States.svg Trevor van Riemsdyk   Injury icon 2.svg D R28 2017 Middletown, New Jersey
71 Flag of Sweden.svg Lucas Wallmark C L24 2014 Umea, Sweden

Retired numbers

Carolina Hurricanes retired numbers
No.PlayerPositionCareerNo. retirement
21 Glen Wesley D 1994–2003
February 17, 2009 [39]
10 Ron Francis C 1981–1991
January 28, 2006
17 Rod Brind'Amour C 2000–2010February 18, 2011 [40]

The Hurricanes also honor three numbers within the organization, but do not display their banners publicly:

Besides the above numbers, Wayne Gretzky's No. 99 was retired for all the NHL's member teams at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game. [44]


Team captains

Rod Brind'Amour was the Hurricanes' team captain from 2005 to 2010. BrindAmour 2009-01-06 1562v1 wiki.jpg
Rod Brind'Amour was the Hurricanes' team captain from 2005 to 2010.

Note: This list of team captains does not include captains from the Hartford Whalers (NHL) and New England Whalers (WHA).

Hall of Famers

In the franchise's history, WHA and NHL Whalers Gordie Howe, Mark Howe and Dave Keon are all members, as is Bobby Hull, although he only played nine games in Hartford. In addition, longtime franchise radio play-by-play announcer Chuck Kaiton received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2004, an honor granted by the Hall of Fame.


The regional broadcasting rights for the Carolina Hurricanes is presently held by Fox Sports Carolinas. [45] Color commentary for Fox's broadcast is performed by Tripp Tracy, while play-by-play is provided by John Forslund. [46] Mike Maniscalco is the team's in-game sideline reporter, as well as a television and web host. [46] In addition to the team's regional broadcast, Forslund also provides play-by-play for nationally televised games featuring the Hurricanes on NBC. [46]

Former broadcasters for the Carolina Hurricanes includes Chuck Kaiton, who provided radio play-by-play from 1979 to 2018. [47] Since the 2018–19 season, the Hurricanes have simulcasted its TV audio for their radio broadcasts. [46]

First-round draft picks

The Hurricanes drafted Noah Hanifin 5th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Noah Hanifin.JPG
The Hurricanes drafted Noah Hanifin 5th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Note: This list does not include selections of the Hartford Whalers.

NHL awards and trophies

Stanley Cup

Prince of Wales Trophy

Conn Smythe Trophy

Frank J. Selke Trophy

King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Lester Patrick Trophy

Calder Memorial Trophy


Franchise scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise (Hartford and Carolina) history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game

Ron Francis C1,1863827931,1750.99
Eric Staal C9093224537750.85
Kevin Dineen RW7082502945440.77
Rod Brind'Amour C6941742994730.68
Jeff O'Neill RW6731982184160.62
Pat Verbeek RW4331922114030.93
Jeff Skinner LW5792041753790.65
Blaine Stoughton RW3572191583771.06
Geoff Sanderson LW4791961733690.77
Erik Cole LW5571681953630.65
Ron Francis C382
Eric Staal C322
Kevin Dineen RW250
Blaine Stoughton RW219
Jeff Skinner LW204
Jeff O'Neill C198
Geoff Sanderson LW196
Pat Verbeek RW192
Sylvain Turgeon LW178
Rod Brind'Amour C174
Ron Francis C793
Eric Staal C453
Rod Brind'Amour C299
Kevin Dineen RW294
Andrew Cassels C253
Jeff O'Neill C218
Ray Whitney LW215
Pat Verbeek RW211
Sami Kapanen LW203
Dave Babych D196

Franchise records

Note: these records include those from the Hartford Whalers.


With 39 wins in the 2008-09 season, Cam Ward set the franchise record for most wins by a goaltender in a season. Cam Ward 2013.jpg
With 39 wins in the 2008–09 season, Cam Ward set the franchise record for most wins by a goaltender in a season.


  • Most wins in a season: 52 (2005–06)
  • Most points in a season: 112 (2005–06)
  • Most consecutive wins: 9 (2005–06 (twice), 2008–09)
  • Most consecutive home wins: 12 (2008–09)
  • Best shot differential in a game: 45 (57–12), April 7, 2009, vs. New York Islanders

Related Research Articles

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