Speculation about the potential relocation of the Carolina Hurricanes has run rampant for the past few seasons and a recent report out of Montreal isn’t about to shut that talk down. Hurricanes president Don Waddell, however, is having none of it.
On Friday afternoon, Montreal’s 98.5 Sports reported that Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos is considering putting the team up for sale, which was followed by relocation talks, allegedly in part because of a potential settlement in the lawsuit brought against him by his three sons. Karmanos’ sons were reportedly seeking $107 million in repayment for money he had allegedly borrowed from a trust set up on their behalf, according to the News and Observer’s Luke DeCock.
Only hours after that report surfaced, though, it’s been squashed by Waddell.
“That’s where it starts and it grows like a wildfire,” Waddell said. “There is absolutely nothing (that’s) changed from a year ago.”
It’s understandable why the rumors have surfaced (again), though. The Hurricanes have far and away the worst attendance in the league at 11,319. The next-lowest attendance in the league is the New York Islanders, who’ve averaged a thousand-plus more per game than Carolina at 12,471. That’s not to mention, despite the victory over the first place Montreal Canadiens on Friday, the Hurricanes continue to struggle.
According to the News and Observer’s Chip Alexander, Waddell said the lowered attendance has more to do with the amount of comped and discounted tickets the team is handing out. In past years, the team was nearing 3,000-plus per game and a recent game had as few as 700-plus, Waddell said Friday. Waddell said that the team was in “best shape it’s ever been right now.”
Even with the denial of the sale, though, Waddell said that if someone were to come along and be seriously interested in buying the team, the Hurricanes ownership would listen to the offer, Alexander reported, but it’s not something they’re actively looking for.
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