May 25, 2023 - News

Carolina Hurricanes' season comes to an end

Martin Necas, #88 of the Carolina Hurricanes, lays on the ice after a play against the Florida Panthers during the second period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Hurricanes' injury-plagued run for the Stanley Cup came to an end Wednesday night, closing out a momentous year for a franchise that is showing signs of staying power among the NHL's best teams.

Driving the news: The Canes lost 3-4 to the Florida Panthers, getting swept in four close games.

Yes, but: Despite the limp finish in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Canes have by most metrics succeeded this year.

  • The team has now made the playoffs in five straight seasons — an impressive run since Tom Dundon became the owner.
  • They drew more total fans (800,566) this season than every team except Montreal.
  • And the outdoor game at Carter-Finley Stadium was one of Raleigh's biggest events this year — highlighting the resurging relevancy of a team that was stuck in the doldrums not too long ago.

What's next: The Canes still have some lingering questions to answer as a franchise, namely the future of their home arena.

  • NHL Commissioners Gary Bettman has acknowledged that PNC Arena needs to be modernized and Dundon has expressed a desire to develop the land around the arena into an entertainment area rather than a sea of parking.

But it remains to be seen what sort of renovation deal can be struck with the Centennial Authority, the state-owned body that owns the arena.


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