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Hurricanes owner values franchise at $420 million, would feel sorry for second Toronto team

Rory Boylen
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Ron Francis with Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

News

Hurricanes owner values franchise at $420 million, would feel sorry for second Toronto team

Rory Boylen
By:

Talking to TSN's Rick Westhead, Carolina owner Peter Karmanos says he's looking for an investor to gradually purchase his controlling interest in the team over a number of years. But that investor needs to value the team at $420 million.

As speculation persists on where the NHL could expand or move to next, rumors of relocation have been swirling around some of the league's southern markets. Arizona is safe at least for the next few years, but Florida became a topic when one of their owners said the "current business model is not sustainable." And there's even been speculation that the Carolina Hurricanes lose piles of money, putting the North Carolina franchise at risk.

On Monday came news that Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos is looking for an investor to put down money on the team and buy out his controlling interest over time. The catch is, that investor has to value the Hurricanes franchise at $420 million - Forbes values the franchise at $187 million.

From Rick Westhead at TSN:

"What I am trying to do is set up a reasonable succession plan because I'm not one of those guys who thinks I am going to go on forever," Karmanos said in an interview. "I'd like to have a partner again...but someone will have to pay dearly for it. (The Hurricanes are) a valuable franchise despite what some of your folk in Canada say about them. I don't see a basketball or baseball or football team coming here. We're going to be the lone ranger here (in Raleigh) for quite some time."

Karmanos said he doesn't put much faith in the Forbes valuations and that the sale of the Islanders will prove how wrong those numbers are. Charles Wang is selling his team for around $500 million after Forbes valued the franchise at $190 million.

Karmanos has owned the Hurricanes franchise since 1994 when it was still located in Hartford and known as the Whalers. He moved the team south in 1997 after exploring other markets such as Columbus, Nashville, Las Vegas - and even Detroit.

But now Karmanos isn't a big believer in having two franchises in the same city. He said he even had serious doubts a second team in Toronto would work and that history shows the "second" teams always struggle, using baseball's Giants, Dodgers and Yankees as an example.

"You can't guarantee that you'd be a revenue contributor in Toronto," Karmanos said to Westhead. "History has always shown other teams haven't been able to match up even in the biggest media market in North America.

"No matter what they (the Dodgers and Giants) did they were second fiddle to the Yankees. Then you have the New York Islanders and Rangers. No matter what the Islanders do they are second fiddle to the Rangers.

"I don't care where a second team in Toronto might play, the Maple Leafs are in the hearts and minds of all those people... I would feel sorry for a second franchise there."

A southern market owner feeling bad for a hypothetical owner in Toronto? Now there's something you don't hear every day.

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Hurricanes owner values franchise at $420 million, would feel sorry for second Toronto team