RALEIGH, N.C. – National Hockey League (NHL) commissioner Gary Bettman kicked it all off midday on Friday at PNC Arena when he introduced entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Dundon as the new majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sitting alongside Bettman, Dundon was also joined by former majority owner and now minority owner Peter Karmanos, Jr., team president Don Waddell, and executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis.
“Tom Dundon sees the potential in the Hurricanes and in Raleigh,” Bettman said.
“Tom represents a bright and secure future for the team, here — let there be no doubt about this — here in North Carolina.
“You are going to like Tom and Tom is going to bring his energy and his vision for this franchise. He wants success for the Hurricanes, on and off the ice; he wants the team to be the pride of the Triangle and an even-more integral part of the community.”
In making the introduction of Dundon, Bettman also presented his appreciation for what Karmanos had done in bringing an NHL franchise to the Triangle.
“I also want to take a moment to express my appreciation to Peter Karmanos for his many contributions to the NHL and to the community,” Bettman said.
“I know how much the Hurricanes mean to him and I am glad to know he will remain connected to the team that he brought to North Carolina in 1997.”
Dundon indicated he would be very hands-on in working to improve all aspects of the club’s operation, particularly related to the fan experience.
“The blueprint for the business is fairly obvious – not too different from every other business in the world,” he said.
“I’m not patient. It’s not going to work for me to be patient. And the fact that they had a team that can win right now, and we can then hopefully do some things to bring more fans and more resources, and they can sustain what Ron and these guys have built.”
With the Hurricanes holding the second wildcard spot and facing the Metropolitan Division’s top team, the Washington Capitals, in the second of a back-to-back, home-and-home set Friday night, Dundon was active and visible all over the arena before the puck dropped.
He showed up and watched head coach Bill Peters during his pregame scrum and wished him luck following it.
He talked with local media, and made the rounds on various NHL radio and television outlets.
He was making good on what he said during the press conference, working to make the Hurricanes a successful and winning team once again.
“I’m probably not going to do a ton of speeches and talking – we’re just going to go do stuff,” Dundon said.
“Ways to be able to keep finding ways to improve this place, that’s the job, that’s the journey.”
Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport