Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Bettman: Hurricanes relocation rumors are ‘wrong, wrong, wrong’

Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 01: A fan of the Carolina Hurricanes waves a flag after a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at RBC Center on March 1, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Carolina defeated Tampa Bay 5-1. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Today’s meeting for the NHL’s Board of Governors was eventful, though mainly in giving Gary Bettman a chance to clear the air on some key expansion/relocation issues.

The sexiest update was the latest green light for the Seattle expansion team process. Yes, it’s still early, but Bettman’s update can mostly be described as highly promising. Read about that here.

That wasn’t the only crucial story illuminated by the league’s commissioner on Thursday, though. Bettman touched on an array of questions, with some promising updates for fans of the Hurricanes, particularly ones crossing their fingers that the team will stay in Carolina.

As reports, the Hurricanes have entered a purchasing agreement where Tom Dundon would become the majority owner while Peter Karmanos would still maintain an equity stake. If you want to go deeper on those issues (hey, you be you), Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman crosses some t’s and dots some lower-cased j’s for you here and here. The rest of us will just move along, much like a confused Calculus class not asking for clarification at the end of a lesson few of us absorbed.

(Aside: Pierre LeBrun’s explanation makes more sense/was less worthy of a GIF from “The Hangover” trilogy.)

Now, Dundon is a Dallas-based businessman, which drummed up some speculation that maybe the Hurricanes would move to Houston at some point as part of this deal. Every now and then, Bettman comes up with some real gems, particularly when he’s a little steamed. He did so tonight in calling relocation rumors “wrong, wrong, wrong.”

“The club is not going anywhere with Mr. Dundon’s purchase, and for those of you who know geography, the fact that he lives in Dallas and that happens to be in the same state as Houston has nothing to do with anything,” Bettman said, via “He’s buying the club to have it in Carolina. I want to be crystal clear on this because it’s really not fair to the players, the fans or anybody in the (Research) Triangle that this rumor has started. It’s just not accurate.”

It’s worth noting, as Friedman did in that bit that definitely didn’t fly over our heads, that this doesn’t mean that the sale is truly complete yet, at least in an “ink dried” sense.

Bettman believes that it will take a few weeks, maybe stretching into January, before things get settled.

Still, it seems like a deal is agreed upon, and Bettman steadfastly states that the Hurricanes won’t relocate.

Considering the assemblage of talent, albeit one that hasn’t coalesced into a true contender yet, it’s understandable that some markets might drool over the idea of landing this core of great, young players. Bettman insists that fans in Carolina will get to see that (hopefully) come together, instead.

For a little more on the Hurricanes and Seattle, check out Bob McKenzie’s Wednesday appearance for NBCSN:


As’s Dan Rosen notes, there were other updates:

  • Nothing is going on with Houston, apparently, even beyond the Carolina rumblings.
  • It seems like there isn’t much new to note for the Coyotes or Islanders regarding their situations.
  • The Senators are in a similar boat with arena challenges.

Sportsnet’s John Shannon also points out that there continues to be negativity regarding the Calgary Flames and their messy arena situation. Lovely.

So, basically: good news for the Hurricanes and Seattle, though both situations aren’t totally finished. For everyone else with arena/etc. situations, the news is either bad or things remain a work in progress.