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Bettman shoots down relocation: ‘Hurricanes aren’t going anywhere’

Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 27: Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates his game-tying goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets at PNC Arena on January 27, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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It’s already been mentioned before, but maybe not quite as emphatically.

On the same day that the NHL confirmed a 31st franchise will come to Las Vegas, commissioner Gary Bettman strongly denied the possibility that the Carolina Hurricanes might relocate.

“The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t going anywhere,” Bettman told reporters including Sportsnet’s Chirs Johnston. “They’re not going anywhere.”

Again, he denied rumors before, but this was slamming the door shut in a pretty definitive way.

This is a decent time to ask with expansion talk in the air, not to mention owner Peter Karamanos’ family issues.

(Karamanos himself insisted that the Hurricanes would not “become the Nordiques.” Ouch.)

If Quebec City, Seattle or some other city is hoping for an NHL team, Bettman & Co. seem confident that it wouldn’t come via a relocated Hurricanes franchise.

Considering the war chest GM Ron Francis is compiling, Carolina fans should be especially excited that the team isn’t moving.