Double-Edged: Tom Dundon Has Opposite Effects On Hurricanes, AAF
Hurricanes Owner Tom Dundon, in his "first full season as a professional sports team owner," has the NHL team back in the playoffs for the first time since '09, though he is also still "picking up the pieces from his short-lived, high-priced foray into professional football," according to Rick Maese of the WASHINGTON POST. The Hurricanes are either the "feel-good story of the NHL season or an affront to hockey's tradition of stoic celebration." Similarly, Dundon is either a "disrupter who bought an organization in need of disruption or the leader of a 'bunch of jerks.'" Maese: "It's just possible that all those things are sort of true." Dundon this week "declined to answer questions" about the AAF shutting down operations, citing "ongoing legal issues that need to be worked out." Dundon's recent "hockey turnaround and the football flop are among the most high-profile business dealings" of his "wildly successful career." In the NHL, Dundon "quickly established himself as a maverick of sorts." Dundon: "When I bought the team, I realized the Carolina Hurricanes weren't a topic of conversation in the world, and they have to be. Long-term, it needs to be about our players and our coaching. But short-term, I felt like I had to help. I think you'll find over time that I'll move into the shadows" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/10). In DC, Deron Snyder wrote in Dundon, the AAF's "savior turned out to be the executioner." Dundon "drop-kicked the players, coaches and other league personnel with just two weeks left in the inaugural season." Snyder: "Dundon, it seems, is a first-class heel" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/9).
STUCK WITH THE BILL: In Orlando, Mike Bianchi notes while the AAF and Orlando Apollos "owe UCF" more than $1M, "most of that reported figure is based on future rent payments" to use Spectrum Stadium. Howeverm UCF still is not "happy about being left with about $100,000 in unpaid out-of-pocket expenses to police and other vendors for the three home games the Apollos played" before the league shut down operations. UCF "sent three invoices" to the AAF before it shut down last week, and "received no payment" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/10).