Candidates Leaving May Signal Worries of Dundon’s Structure


There were many people in Carolina happy when Thomas Dundon bought majority interest in the Hurricanes earlier this year. It was a welcome change from the bickering of the Karmanos family and who would get what. But now, with the GM spot being open and candidates dropping out, that may be a cause for a bit more of a concern than some may let on.

Let’s not kid ourselves– to be a GM in the NHL would be great and many would be honored to be in one of the 31 (currently) spots in the league. Yet, with the way that Dundon has been taking care of business early could cause some warning for those candidates.

With a lot of them stepping back– Tom Fitzgerald, Paul Fenton, Mike Futa among them– you have to wonder why this position is being so shunned. There were reports from Hockey Night in Canada that it’s due to the low salary in comparison to the other GMs being a reason, but I think there’s a lot more to that. Sure, the money is a big deal when you’re taking on the stress that comes with being a GM, but there’s something not right with the way that Ron Francis got put out and the aftermath from it.

The fact that the new GM will report to Dundon directly rather than to Francis, the new President of Hockey Operations, make shake people the wrong way. Especially considering that Dundon has no sport experience when it comes to making big decisions in the sporting side of things. It’s great he wants to be a hands-on owner like his buddy Mark Cuban; we’ve all seen the downside of things when an owner gets too hands-on (shoutout Eugene Melnyk).

With his admitting he likes people to disagree and not do what he says or say what they think he wants– it’s admirable. But there’s a dangerous line there when it comes to owners getting too close to players and coaching decisions. That’s why it’s better to get people smarter around the owner to make those decisions and not have the owner be the decision-maker. The other side to that is that you don’t want an owner who will just sign the paychecks and do nothing else. There’s also an interesting line to deal with when it comes to saying to Elliotte Friedman when you’re taking to Dundon– you’re talking to the Hurricanes. Sure, he’s the owner, but when he has the end say in things– it’s possible to alienate those who may not disagree, but fear being cast-off from the team.

More over than that– this new GM for Carolina could be akin to what Greg Sherman was in Colorado– just having the title, but really not having a lot of hands-on work and really just along for the ride for whatever Dundon has in mind. The salary offer speaks almost to that.

Karmanos Might Be Playing Himself in Selling Process


If DJ Khaled taught us anything, outside of yelling your name on any hot track you produce, it’s the recognition of someone playing themselves. That’s exactly what I think Peter Karmanos is doing when it comes to the “selling” of the Carolina Hurricanes. This conclusion is what I’m coming to after Karmanos went to the press to say he thinks that prospective buyer, Chuck Greenberg, doesn’t have the funds to buy the team.

From Chip Alexander in the News & Observer:

“The sale of the team is just sitting there, waiting for Chuck to say, ‘Geez, I can’t raise the money,’ ” Karmanos said. “We have a commitment to Chuck, and we’re going to see it through. And quite frankly I wish he would pick up the phone and say, ‘Geez, you know what, I can’t get it done.’ Because it looks like he can’t get it done.”

Now, will say that the silence is not a good thing with the sale, at first, getting a lot of hype and since then– nary a sound from either side about it until now. Greenberg, if totally entrenched in the sale, would be at the games, would be gaining community support, all the things a new owner dead-set on keeping the team in Raleigh would do.

That said, Karmanos really needs to shut the hell up about it. The NHL needs to almost shut him up about it because it’s not a good look on other prospective buyers that if you don’t get a deal done quickly, then the owner who is the seller will talk smack about about how you don’t have the money to the press.

There’s things you don’t mess with in people’s lives and one of those things is the talk of their wealth or lack thereof.

If I’m Greenberg, as much as I would want to buy this team and keep them in a solid market, I’d almost pull the deal to prove a point that he won’t be questioned about the fund he does or doesn’t have. A deal is not going to work quicker if the seller is calling out the prospective buyer because one side or the other is going to get pissed and then stuff goes nuclear.

While I don’t know much of the inner workings of the Carolina Hurricanes (I’ll defer that to the wonderful folks of Section 328), the sale of the Hurricanes has been going on for what seems to be an eternity in sports years. In 2014, it seems that Karmanos would entertain options to selling the team, but nothing had come about until this summer. Also, since 2013, he has wanted to sell the Florida Everblades in the ECHL, but to this day– nothing has been formally announced about the transfer of ownership.

There’s an idea that a major red flag for the prospective buyers that comes from a 2015 piece that Karmanos, despite selling the team, insists that he retains control of the team. Whether or not that’s a factual statement is up in the air, but even the hint of that– then radio silence– does speak volumes to why there hasn’t been more people clamoring to put a bid in for the Hurricanes until Greenberg did. Now, Karmanos is mocking his lack of movement and seemingly just stalling a deal.

Hell, with this– maybe Karmanos is self-sabotaging himself because, while he doesn’t want to be in ownership, he does want to be in ownership. So any deal, even if it’s close, he would want to kill just so he have his terms. If he sells the majority, he’s no longer in control and then hates that feeling. Plus, and more importantly, he wants to the team to stay in North Carolina— which is noble, if not short-sighted for any buyer.

The Hurricanes are a talented team. People will bitch and moan about their attendance and all of that– but that won’t stop with new ownership, I’m sure. The fact of the matter is that the market is good, the dedicate fan base is just that, and the team is primed for something big coming their way, almost like what happened in Columbus last season. With the addition of Scott Darling and locking up guys like Victor Rask, Jaccob Slavin, and Brett Pesce long-term to get a young core going, not to mention what they’ll need to do to get Jeff Skinner re-signed.

There’s a lot of other doings that may make Karmanos want to sell the team, one of which is that he and his family, shall we say, don’t have the best of terms going with each other. Of course, we know of when his sons sued Peter for lack of repayment on hockey investments (which is a thing that could scare some investors away when they might have to assume debt) and should Peter pass while still owning the team– you can bet there may be a big squabble over who get the ownership status and what the kids could do with it.

Hurricanes fans don’t deserve this. Hurricanes players and management shouldn’t have to field questions about it, and the public shouldn’t be on edge to see if the Hurricanes will stay in Raleigh or if the system will shift up the Atlantic to Quebec, which is always rumored because Quebec. While this story won’t go away until pen is to paper and notarized in an agreement– the fact it was put out to the press by Karmanos could ensure another long round of waiting for a buyer for the Hurricanes.