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Tom Dundon now sole owner of Carolina Hurricanes

By Stephen Whyno, AP Hockey Writer

Tom Dundon is now sole owner of the Carolina Hurricanes after buying out the remaining shares of the NHL club held by Peter Karmanos and others.

The league’s board of governors unanimously approved the transaction Wednesday.

“We are fortunate to have a passionate fan base that supports what we believe is a team that can compete every year for the Stanley Cup.” Dundon said in a statement. “That is the only option.”

Dundon, 49, became majority owner in early 2018 when he bought 52% of the Hurricanes and their arena for $425 million. Karmanos had owned the team since moving the Whalers from Hartford in 1997.

“This was sort of the structure of the deal,” Dundon said told The Associated Press by phone. “It was always kind of contemplated that this is how we would do it, kind of two pieces.”

Dundon praised Karmanos for his impact on hockey in the U.S. for more than four decades and said, “His vision laid the groundwork for the success we now enjoy in Raleigh, and his legacy will always remain a part of this organization.”

But now Dundon gets to continue putting his stamp on the organization.

Carolina made the playoffs the past three seasons, the first three consecutive trips to the postseason since the move to Raleigh. Rod Brind’Amour won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year and signed a three-year extension after the Hurricanes won their division and reached the second round before losing to Tampa Bay.

“Obviously the losing is no fun and it was awful,” Dundon said in the phone interview. “Unfortunately the odds say you’re going to finish more seasons than not where you don’t win. So that’s the hardest part about this deal is you could do great and not win, and so we’ve got to figure that out.”

Dundon said he, general manager Don Waddell and Brind’Amour agree on trying to win now while also not mortgaging the future. The next step for the Hurricanes is elevating from perennial playoff contender to Stanley Cup contender.

“We’re trying to make decisions that are sustainable,” Dundon said. “Organizationally we all agree that you want to try to get better today but we’re going to play hockey tomorrow and the day after that and we want to make sure that we can sustain something that gives us a chance to win consistently.”

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