During the first intermission of Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers, Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos sat down with FS Carolinas broadcaster John Forslund. This is a full transcript of that 4-minute, 16-second exchange.
John Forslund: Well, first of all, thanks for doing this. Great to see you with the team and being on the road here, getting an opportunity to see them play here against the Rangers, so…
Peter Karmanos: I wouldn’t miss them in New York.
Forslund: I know that, I know that. First, let’s start with just your overview of the season, challenges that have presented itself, and how you see it moving forward.
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Karmanos: Well, overview of the season, you know, I don’t know if people realize it, but if Columbus lost the rest of their games and we won the rest of our games, we’re in the playoffs.
Forslund: That’s right.
Karmanos: The season’s not over. I wish we weren’t in this position, I wish we could control our own fate, but overall, if we hadn’t lost our first two goalies again, for the second season in a row, we might be fighting for first place in our division, all right? I don’t know if people realize that we have a very, very good hockey team. I like our coaching staff. I think they’ve made a lot of progress with the team. I like our players. I think we have a really great bunch of guys.
Forslund: Let’s hit on that.
Karmanos: All right.
Forslund: Because you’ve come here, you’ve had some business meetings, but you’ve also had a chance to sit down with your hockey staff and the management and the coaches. Is this is a situation where you’re compiling, getting as much information as possible, and that’s a healthy exchange so you can get all that out there and stand behind that belief?
Karmanos: Yeah. I guess. All right? You know, it isn’t like I’ve lived in a vacuum for the whole season.
Karmanos: All right? So I just like to get a feel for where everybody’s at and how they feel about things. We had a nice dinner last night with the whole coaching staff and I pointed out all the good things that happened this year.
Forslund: There is. There’s a lot to look at here when you look at that. Let’s talk about some of that. Now, there’s investment in a core, there’s a great collection of young players in terms of moving forward. As you’ve watched these players kind of come together this year, what have you seen?
Karmanos: Well, you know we really never had a chance to come together, as a team in the sense that a team usually does, because of some of the injuries that we’ve had. And I’m not blaming things on injuries, except when you lose a guy that ends up being your No. 1 goalie for nine weeks, that had a 5-10 point effect on the team at that point in time. But, you know, we’re not in a situation where we have to tear everything down and build over again. We want to do some tweaks, some of them might be major tweaks, but we want not only to make the playoffs but we want a team that can compete in those playoffs. And we want a team that has home-ice advantage. That means we need a team that has a significantly better record than we had this year. And I think we have all the pieces in place. We might have to do some tweaking here and some tweaking there, change some attitudes here, some attitudes there, but all in all, I think we got a good thing going.
Forslund: That’s great, because I think the fans need to hear this.
Karmanos: I need the fans to be even more patient than they have been. Our season-ticket renewals right now aren’t good and I don’t blame anybody because we’ve missed the playoffs for five years, but when we do go back on the ice next year, we need that fan support. We have a really great collection of young players and they play exciting hockey. We’re going to make sure they play exciting hockey all year.
Forslund: So again, the message here would be, the belief is there in the group. There’s been a lot of talk, there’s been a lot of things have been speculated that have been out there, but you have a strong belief behind the people who are in place, the core group of what’s on the ice, and that’s what you want out there, in terms of a message.
Forslund: That’s great. Thanks so much for this.
Karmanos: My pleasure.