The Carolina Hurricanes made a commitment to play in Raleigh until the year 2024 as their parent company, Gale Force Holdings re-negotiated a lease with the Centennial Authority, the legal owners of the RBC Center. The original lease kept the club in the RBC until 2019, so the Canes extended their previous commitment.
This is good news of course for fans who are hoping for the team to stay in this area, and bad news for nay-sayers who complain that hockey will never work in this market. Apparently, Hurricanes ownership and management continue to feel that the market can and wll support NHL hockey.
While leases can always be broken, the obvious intent is for the Canes to stay. Jim Balsillie can look elsewhere if he was dreaming about someday owning the "Hamilton Hurricanes".
There are promised improvements to be made to the RBC, including a new sound system and eventually a new jumbotron. The sound system is on tap for next season.
New Proposed Sound System
In other news, the NHL Awards ceremony went off as expected. Alexander Ovechkin won the Pearson and the Hart. My other predictions were correct except for Datsyuk winning the Selke and Blake winning the Masterton. Congratulations to everyone concerned.
It looks like Ottawa and San Jose have their new coaches picked out. Paul Maurice, Bob Hartley, John Tortorella, and John Paddock are still looking for gigs. "Torts" is rumored to be going to Los Angeles, but it's been quiet regarding the other coaching prospects.
I really thought Paddock might be going somewhere. His Ottawa team was in a half-way decent position when he was unceremoniously fired. They actually regressed after Murray took over.
Finally, just in case you missed it, the River Rats posted a nice question and answer session with recent Hurricanes signee, Michael Leighton. You can read the article in it's entirety by following this link.
Happy Friday the 13th!