New ‘Canes owner believes team can win now; gives vote of confidence to coach, GM

Adam Gretz
NBC Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes have a new owner in Tom Dundon and he did not waste any time in showing his excitement for the team.

On Friday he released a letter to Hurricanes fans describing his excitement for the short-and long-term outlook of the team and outlined some of the changes he wants to make immediately… and the changes he probably won’t be making.

“As the opportunity arose to become the majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes and I began analyzing the organization, the one thing that immediately jumped out to me was that with the collection of young talent already on the team, we can compete now,” wrote Dundon in a letter released by the team on Friday.

“As I spoke to people from across the NHL, they all identified that core of young players, the head coach and the general manager as major assets. I am convinced that the Hurricanes not only have an opportunity to win now, but to be competitive year in and year out going forward.”

That all seems like a pretty strong vote of confidence for general manager Ron Francis and head coach Bill Peters. And while the team has not found much success on the ice in recent seasons, currently riding an eight-year playoff drought, the Hurricanes do have a pretty strong young core that seems to be getting better and is right in the thick of the playoff race this season.

Following their 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night the Hurricanes are in the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins with a game still in hand. They are once again one of the best puck possession and shot suppression teams in the league but are still struggling to find some consistency in goal. If they ever do, they could be an extremely interesting team.

Dundon also spoke about areas where the organization can work to improve the team’s on-ice performance, specifically when it comes to training facilities and the team’s analytical department. He wrote that the team is finalizing a deal for a new state-of-the-art training facility for the players.

All of that makes sense because while the NHL puts a cap on how much teams can spend on players, there is no cap on what they can do when it comes to facilities, analytics, front office and coaching staffs. There is a lot of ground to be gained there and a lot of areas where a team can make some under-the-radar improvements.

You can read all of of Dundon’s letter here.

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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