Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/05/06 at 10:36 AM ET
It's 2006, but some hockey observers still believe Tobacco Road is a curious, if not impossible address for an NHL franchise. Broad Street, sure. Broadway, certainly. Ste-Catherine Street, the Red Mile, Wayne Gretzky Drive. All rock-solid, well-travelled hockey avenues, where the hockey congregations are large and passionate, where the love of the game is encoded in the DNA. But many hockey people can't envision an NHL franchise thriving in an area where the fans are more comfortable with lugnuts than slapshots, more at home with big-time college basketball and football than with hockey, where the true believers from up north aren't entirely sure the pre-game tailgate parties, fragrant with southern barbecue, awash with beer, aren't the real playoff attraction, anyway.continued from the Edmonton Journal,
Raleigh may not be decked out in Hurricanes red the way Edmonton is painted Oilers blue, but passionate fans in this city say it's only a matter of time before the storm gets out of control. Driving around Raleigh, it's difficult to see evidence there's a Stanley Cup championship about to begin. Car flags appear on perhaps one in 50 vehicles. Store windows aren't painted with colourful murals encouraging the home team. And jerseys? What jerseys?continued
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