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Hurricanes ‘did the best we could’ in submitting home dates to NHL

Jun 4, 2013, 7:50 PM EDT

Jim Rutherford Getty Images

Last week, we wrote about the Carolina Hurricanes’ scheduling dispute with North Carolina State University that had the potential to result in hefty fines from the NHL for the hockey club.

Today, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the Triangle Business Journal that the club had no choice but to submit to the league potential home dates for next season, even though some of the dates had already been claimed by the Wolfpack.

“We did the best we could,” Rutherford said.

From the TBJ:

NCSU has scheduling priority at the arena, where both the Wolfpack and Hurricanes play home games. Gale Force Holdings, which owns the Hurricanes and operates the arena for concerts and other events, worked with the Atlantic Coast Conference in previous years to coordinate schedules. But NCSU Athletic Director Debbie Yow claimed so many dates for possible Wolfpack games this year that Gale Force says it doesn’t have enough dates for hockey games, let alone other events.

The NHL season schedule is expected in mid-July and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s basketball schedule will be released in late August. If the Wolfpack and Hurricanes schedule games for the same night, they’d be setting up a scenario in which the NHL could fine the Hurricanes $100,000 per rescheduled game, but Rutherford said he was left no choice but to submit days for use.

Would the NHL actually fine the ‘Canes over something that sounds like it’s out of their control? That’s not clear. But it sure sounds like a bit of an unnecessary headache.

Click here for video of a somewhat annoyed Rutherford discussing the situation.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    In today’s society it’s all about making that extra dollar off you because every rich asshole thinks that they have the right to rip you off and overcharge/fine you! Hence the NHL fining the Canes for something they can’t control. I guess Crookman and his butt buddy Daly really need that extra 100k to line their wallet!

  2. squidward247 - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    I was always under the impression the scedule was made like a year in advance. Also, why does a college/minor leauge team have so much pull with a professional team/arena?

    • letsgolightning - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      I’m not sure about other years, but in this year realignment having only recently been agreed upon would have required a new schedule anyway. The NHL does (publicly anyway) usually release their schedules in the summer.

      As for giving NCSU so much leeway? Just seems like poor contract negotiation on the part of the arena. Having been here, the arena is ridiculously close to the campus, so I’m guessing the ‘Canes gave up some “dibs” on dates, in exchange for school/state money for building the arena.

    • 0ffsides - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      Because of the location of the team. The College team has way more supporters for their basketball team. This wouldn’t happen in Toronto, Quebec or Hamilton.

    • tmoore4075 - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      It’s always worked on in the Spring. They start working with teams and arenas in March sometime. No way you could do it a year in advance with so many moving parts. Plus the schedule is always on like a 3 year stint so that way they leave the door open if things change.

    • qhbs - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      The arena was originally half way built for the college team before the Hurricanes announced they would be moving to Raleigh.

  3. deeboy - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    The arena was built largely with public money and the ownership group kicking in some of it. The agreement for the generous arrangement was that NCSU would have first dibs on dates. The agreement worked well based on the TV contact at the time. The problem now is that they are reserving almost 130 dates for 27 games, which works out to 5-6 days per game. I think it stems from the ACC’s affiliation with ESPN and their demands for flexibility of scheduling.

    I imagine this agreement will be revisited prior to the next time this issue comes up in 2014.

  4. 2qswing - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Dead-on analysis deeboy. I’m sure if you talk to the AD, she will also tell you her hands are tied by ESPN, boosters, ACC.
    Looks like a lot of Monday night home games for the Canes this year going head to head with MN football.

  5. imajoebob - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    The Hurricanes had COMPLETE CONTROL over this when they decided to break their contract, their commitment, and their word in Hartford. One of the demands they were granted in Hartford was complete control over the new arena, including scheduling. But Karmanos lied about that being non-negotiable, just like he lied about needing a 10-year (not 20) deal, just like he lied about keeping the team in Hartford if he got 93 – no 94, no, make that 95% attendance (technically 97% isn’t 95…), just like he lied about staying through the end of his contract at the Civic Center.

    Simple rule of thumb: You can’t believe a word from this franchise, whether it’s Karmanos or his useless tool Rutherford. But Karmanos and Bettman are butt- uh, best buddies, so they’ll come up with some bizarre, wholly made up reason why the league can’t fine them.

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