Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Lowest Attendance

Ten days ago, I wrote that the Carolina Hurricanes are the lowest paid team (by salary cap hit).  This is a financial necessity for this team.  They also have the lowest attendance in the NHL.  They are averaging 10,969 per home game.  This is almost 1500 people per game less than the second worst New York Islanders.

Carolina has problems.  Peter Karmanos is 73 years old and his sons show no interest in running the team.  In fact they have sued their father for over $100 million that he failed to put into their trusts.  This is money that Karmanos has used largely to run the hockey team.  As a result, Karmanos wants to sell the team and there is little appetite to keep the team in Carolina.

The NHL has not had a team that is a former Stanley Cup winner fold or move since the Great Depression.  It looks like Carolina could break that record.  They are the 2006 Stanley Cup champions.  This was the first season after a season lost to a lockout.  An artificially low salary cap prevented any really strong teams from existing.  The Carolina team that won the 2006 Stanley Cup missed the playoffs in 2007.  They were unable to gain any sustained momentum from their win.

The Carolina Hurricanes will likely last as long as Peter Karmanos lasts running them.  They have not been able to draw fans.  There is little appetite for another owner to keep the team in the state.  Likely they will move when he sells or when he dies and a sale is forced.  Their low attendance and low payroll has put the team two points out of last place in the East Conference.  There is little positive going on here.

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Chip4Pips's avatar

One positive: the future Quebec Nordiques.

Posted by Chip4Pips on 12/05/16 at 10:09 PM ET

pavelcatsyuk's avatar

They haven’t had a winning team in a VERY long time. I think that is the main reason for their attendance issues. People are just sick of watching a losing team.

If they start winning again, the fans will come back. I just hope they start winning before they relocate.

Posted by pavelcatsyuk on 12/06/16 at 01:10 PM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com