The Carolina Hurricanes announced from their offices in Raleigh, N.C. on Thursday that chief executive officer, majority owner and governor, Peter Karmanos Jr., was selected for induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame as per an announcement made by USA Hockey.
Karmanos joins former National Hockey League (NHL) stars Doug Weight and Bill Guerin, women’s hockey pioneer Cindy Curley and former collegiate coach Ron Mason as part of the U.S. Hockey Hall’s class of 2013.
Karmanos has used his business acumen to build an empire of hockey at all levels of the game in the United States for more than five decades, including the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, the East Coast Hockey League’s (ECHL) Florida Everblades, the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Plymouth Whalers and the Compuware youth hockey program in Michigan.
With his partners Thomas Thewes and Jim Rutherford, Karmanos acquired the NHL franchise now known as the Carolina Hurricanes on June 28, 1994.
After three financially unsuccessful seasons in Hartford, Conn., and after an agreement on a new facility between the team and the state of Connecticut could not be reached, Karmanos announced he would relocate the franchise to Raleigh, N.C., on May 6, 1997.
Since their arrival in North Carolina, the Hurricanes have enjoyed tremendous success.
On the ice, the team has advanced to the Conference Finals three times in the last 11 seasons, capturing Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2006 and the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Off the ice, the Hurricanes have become significantly active community partners in North Carolina, and in 2009 were recognized as the top hockey franchise and second-ranked franchise in all of sports by ESPN in the “Ultimate Standings,” a collection of data and survey results that takes into account a team’s on-ice or on-field success, as well as its community impact and overall fan experience.
The league’s spotlight shined on the Hurricanes franchise when the team and city of Raleigh earned tremendous praise for hosting a successful 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend.
The team’s accomplishment in winning the Stanley Cup earned it the distinction of becoming the first hockey team ever to be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Grassroots hockey architect
As the retired executive chairman of the board for Detroit-based Compuware, Karmanos has also sponsored one of the nation’s most successful youth hockey programs of the same name,
He also owns the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, which was the first American club to play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
Compuware youth hockey programs, including the Plymouth Whalers, have produced many NHL stars over the years including Pat LaFontaine, Al Iafrate, Mike Modano, Eric Lindros and Kevin Hatcher.
Recognition of effort
In 1997, Karmanos was chosen as one of four recipients of the Lester Patrick Award, an award given annually to individuals who are recognized for “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.”
In 2010, Karmanos received the OHL’s Bill Long Award, presented in recognition and appreciation of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the OHL, and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
USA Hockey recognized Karmanos with its Distinguished Achievement Award in 2012.
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