Carolina Hurricanes: Surging into the Hearts of Fans

Carolina Hurricanes

By now you have read the comments of Don Cherry about the Carolina Hurricanes post game celebrations. 

Whether you like it or hate it, the “Storm Surge” is here to stay and you won’t hear Hurricane players apologizing for it. I will attempt to break down what the post game celebrations have meant to the city of Raleigh and the Carolina Hurricanes fan-base. 

Attendance

No one will argue that the Canes have struggled to garner attention since their relocation from Hartford. While they still struggle to fill the seats, there has been a slight uptick in sales. I have started to take in more games for the Hurricanes, and I have noticed the arena appears more full from a television viewers perspective. It would be a safe bet that the arena would be quite full, if this team finds a playoff spot. 

Owner

Tom Dundon took a huge risk with the seven year relocation ban. Most new owners are only required to sign a three year commitment, when purchasing a team with a location commitment. Some owners would prefer to stay out of the spotlight while trying to establish their hierarchy, but Dundon has seemed to embrace the attention that the celebrations have brought. As evidenced by the slight he made following the Canes most recent victory. 

Media

This is where the water gets a bit murky. Many media pundits have taken time to give praise to the Hurricanes for their creativity and fun loving spirit of the celebrations. However, the “dinosaurs” of the broadcast community has been a very vocal minority. Earlier in the season, Brian Burke went on a rant about teams mimicking the team’s celebrations. To be fair, he was correct and many junior teams have started the trend. Here is the thing though, people don’t care. They really enjoy it. 

Then, this week the highly respected, Don Cherry, decided to throw in his two-cents. He claims that the celebrations are disrespectful to the opposing team and makes the Carolina Hurricanes organization look like a “bunch of jerks.” Yes, I speak of the same obnoxious guy that wears multicolor suits and fumbles his way through 3-word sentences. 

Fans

This is the heart of this article. This is the only people that matter in this whole debate, and they have spoken. While not all fans are in support of the celebrations, the replies and retweets to the Canes social media posts make me believe that the larger portion are in support of them. Even other NHL teams have taken to them. See the below reply from the Los Angeles Kings when the Hurricanes announced their “Bunch of Jerks” tee shirts. 

These are the opposing teams that Don Cherry claims the Hurricanes are offending. This just reinforces the point that most people want the sport to be fun. People are enjoying the celebrations, and would very much enjoy them in the playoffs. 

Team

How has the players taken to the celebrations? Well, obviously they seem to have the extra motivation to win at home. They have a 16-9-4 record at PNC Arena, while only a 15-13-2 record on the road. Their recent play would imply that they are motivated to take the “Storm Surge” into the postseason, as they are 8-2-0 in their last 10. 

Final Thoughts

In a year that has seen the rise of Gritty and great stories like the New York Islanders. As well as downtrodden stories like the drama in Ottawa, along with the uncertainty of the futures of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. I think it is great to have a team like Carolina injecting joy and a bit of the childishness that sports are founded on. As a fan of another team (Penguins), I am rooting for them to get into the playoffs, if only to drive the dinosaur broadcasters insane. 

stats from NHL.com

featured image photo credit – Josh Tessler

 

Author: Justin Miner