Hurricanes sold: What does it mean for Raleigh?

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) —

First word of Tom Dundon’s interest in purchasing the Hurricanes came out a little more than a week ago. Now, he’s made that deal official. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted out the details earlier Thursday:

Tom Dundon, if the purchase agreement goes through, would own 52 percent of the Hurricanes with an option in 3 years to buy the remaining 48 percent

— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 7, 2017

For the purpose of the purchase agreement, Hurricanes are being valued at just under 500 million with Dundon buying 52 percent of the team but it sounds like his buy-in isn’t total cash, also includes taking on some debt

— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 7, 2017

"I am thrilled to continue to build upon what Peter Karmanos started in Raleigh," said Dundon. "The Hurricanes are a team on the rise, and I believe we have an opportunity to take the franchise to the next level. I’m ready to get to work."

Dundon is just 45 years old, but worth a bucketload of money thanks to his foresight in the business of subprime auto lending. For more on his background – this Dallas Morning News article is required reading. He’s a major stakeholder in TopGolf (which is an amazing thing that needs to be in the Triangle).

As part of buying majority stake in #Canes, Tom Dundon has agreed to not apply to relocate the franchise for a period of 7 years – a standard clause in #NHL purchase agreements. #TSN

— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 7, 2017

Karmanos, who originally purchased the franchise in 1994, will maintain an equity stake in the team. In 1997, Karmanos relocated the team to North Carolina, where the Hurricanes lifted the Stanley Cup in 2006.

"Tom has had tremendous success in business, and I fully expect that to continue as he takes control of the Hurricanes," said Karmanos. "I look forward to working with him, and bringing another Stanley Cup to North Carolina."

So what are Dundon’s intentions for the team? How much does he know about hockey? And – will he pay more for players to make the Hurricanes good again?

Answers: To buy them. Beyond that, I don’t know. I have zero idea. I sure hope so.

I’m really curious to see what kind of persona Dundon has in a press conference situation. Was very guarded today, for obvious reasons.

— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) December 7, 2017

Clearly – the primary concern for hockey fans here is that the team would stay in Raleigh.
Both Gary Bettman and Peter Karmanos are mandating that provision as part of the purchase, so we can breathe easy (For now. Sorry, inside Canes joke). But seriously – listen to Karmanos cackle when that issue was raised today by a TSN reporter. It’s great:

The approval of a purchase agreement is the first step here. The formal vetting of Dundon as an owner is next. That should really be a formality. There’s a new boss coming to town. The Canes are entering a new era. Let’s hope it includes the playoffs.

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