NHL Franchise Notes: Dundon Details Road To Whalers Jerseys
Hurricanes Owner Tom Dundon said it "took a lot of work" to get NHL approval to wear Whalers jerseys in two games this season. He said both Adidas and the league were "helpful" in making it happen. Dundon said of the move, "It's something different. The Hurricanes haven’t been on the front of ESPN or The Hockey News very often, so for us to get relevant I think those are good things. We did it because we think it’s entertainment and it’s fun. We didn’t do it for any other reason. We’re not trying to honor anyone or anything. There’s nothing deep and meaningful about it" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/3).
OTTAWA FALLING? USA TODAY's Kevin Allen writes with the Senators "bottoming out," team Owner Eugene Melnyk "owes it to fans to act aggressively to turn the franchise around." Melnyk has repeated said that he does not want to sell the team, but Allen noted Melnyk at the "very least ... should hire a respected director of hockey operations and give that person carte blanche to rebuild and repair the team's image." The Senators "need a new face" (USA TODAY, 10/3).
IN NEED OF FIREWORKS: In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw wrote under the header, "Dallas Stars Desperately Need To Build Buzz Around The Team Early This Season -- For The Fans And Players." The Stars celebrated 25 years in Dallas last season with "regular visits from and recognition of their Stanley Cup stars from nearly two decades ago." It is the kind of thing you do when you can "no longer count on going to the playoffs." If the '18-19 season looks like something "less than special, perhaps the club will drum up local interest by celebrating the past one more time" (DALLASNEWS.com, 10/2).
STRONG SUPPORT: Syndicated columnist Norman Chad wrote as "wonderful of a sports story as the Golden Knights’ success became" last season, what "fascinated me further was the overwhelming support the team got from Las Vegas." The Golden Knights "averaged 18,042 fans per home game" and played to 103.9% capacity at T-Mobile Arena. Chad: "If I were asked one year ago today if the NHL had a real chance to draw big crowds in Las Vegas, my answer would’ve been no" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/1).
ALL PRESS IS GOOD PRESS: In N.Y., Andrew Knoll writes no player or team has "gotten more attention" leading up to the start of the season than new Flyers mascot Gritty. It looks a bit like a "towering, gruff, slightly psychedelic rendering of one of Jim Henson’s Muppets," which has "led to inspired mockery." But it has "appeared on multiple late-night talk shows in the past week, earning greater visibility than even the biggest NHL stars" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/3).