Four questions with the new Carolina Hurricanes owner, Thomas Dundon.
Q: Why do you want to own a hockey team?
A: Because they keep score, mostly. I’ve watched hockey for a long time and I enjoy it, but I think the part that is most enjoyable is there’s a lot of moving pieces and you get to figure out, hopefully, how to help find a way to win or help people be successful. There’s everything from how you treat the players and giving them an advantage and the resources you do with the coaches and how you market the team and how you generate entertainment in the building that brings energy that hopefully helps you win. So primarily it’s because I like things where they keep score. This is a way you can do that even though you can’t play yourself.
Q: Why the Hurricanes?
A: It felt like there was value that could be created here. And the fact that the team is in a position where if you do a few things, make a couple more things go right, you have a chance to be really, really good. They’re good now. The definition of really good is doing it for a long time. I think they can be competitive for a long time. Everybody says they want to be patient, but I’m not patient. We can do a few more things to continue the momentum is better than a situation where you could go backwards. I don’t want to go backwards.
Q: You’re obviously inheriting an entire operation here. On the hockey side, are you confident in (general manager) Ron (Francis) and (head coach) Bill (Peters) at this point?
A: Yes, 100 percent. I talked to a lot of people before I decided to do this in the hockey business. I think we’re lucky here. I think you have to give the previous owner a lot of credit for what he put together. I hope we can help them. I hope we can add some resources where appropriate, but I think it’s incremental gains, it’s not fundamental. It’s not foundational.
Q: What are your Day 1 priorities?
A: I think the top priority is the fan experience. I think we’ve got to give the fan more value. Part of that is the team winning. They’re winning. They’re competitive. Part of it is getting more people in the arena and having them feel like they’re getting value. We’ve got to give them a better experience. It’s got to be somewhere they’d rather be than be at home. I think we’ve got some opportunities there.