Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes were first created in 1972 in Boston, MA and were known as the New England Whalers. In 1979 as a result of joining the NHL, the team changed their location to be known as the Hartford Whalers. Finally, in 1997, the Whalers moved to North Carolina and rebranded the team to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Basic Facts

Notable players: Eric Staal, Ron Brind'amour and Ron Francis, Cam Ward, and Sebastian Aho

Founding Date: 1972

City: Raleigh, NC

Conference: Eastern

Number of Stanley Cups: 1 (2006)

Mascot: Stormy the Pig

Owner: Thomas Dundon and Peter Karmanos Jr.

Head Coach: Rod Brind'amour

Stadium: PNC Arena

History

The Carolina Hurricanes franchise started out in Hartford, Connecticut as the Whalers in 1972. They were originally members of the World Hockey Association (WHA) but eventually merged into the NHL in 1979. The Whalers didn't fare too well in the NHL, never making it past the second round of the playoffs. Despite the lack of postseason success, the team got one of the greatest ever when they drafted Ron Francis in 1981, who would go on to have the second most assists of all time only behind Gretzky and make it into the Hall of Fame. Eventually the team started to lose money in a small market and they ended up relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1997. The team started to have more success and quickly made the Stanley Cup in 2002, but were defeated by the Red Wings.

2006 Stanley Cup

In 2006, young stud Eric Staal, rookie goaltender Cam Ward, and veteran Ron Brind'amour led the team to its first ever Stanley Cup victory. This came in a dramatic game 7 victory against the Oilers. This was a great feat for the Hurricanes, and they remain the only team to reside in North Carolina and win a championship in one of the 4 major sports.

Storm Surge ("Bunch of Jerks")

The Storm Surge was a unique team-wide postgame celebration that the Hurricanes performed after a home win this past year. After wins, the team would gather on the ice, and show the excited home crowd a funny celebration. One time it was a quick game of basketball, one time it imitated duck hunt, and one time a player slid on the ice between all his teammates. Each time was different, so you never knew what to expect. It was a fun and creative way to celebrate as a team and show everyone that hockey can be fun too. They received a lot of love from fans and it brought a ton of excitement to hockey in Carolina, which had been a struggling market in recent years. However, they also got a lot of criticism for not sticking to the simple etiquette of hockey. According to some, the game should be a gentlemanly sport with absolutely no fun. Sportsnet commentator Don Cherry even went so far as to call the team "A bunch of jerks". The team was proud to accept this name, and got it printed on shirts and projected on the ice during games. The team embraced its title as much as they could, and continued to be the most fun team in the league.

Current Outlook

The team is coming off a breakout campaign in which they took the league by storm and made it all the way to the conference finals. They are primed to be contenders for a long time, with a bonafide superstar in Sebastian Aho and one of the best D-corps in the whole league. It is only a matter of time before this young roster goes all the way as they are set up to compete for a long time.


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