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Carolina Hurricanes

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The Carolina Hurricanes moved to Raleigh from Hartford, Connecticut in 1997, where they were known as the Whalers. The Whalers struggled to stabilize economically, in a proximity war with the juggernaut organizations of the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins who had already secured the support of the New England region. Initially, relocating seemed to present more problems than it solved with the Canes being forced to play in Greensboro as they awaited the completion of the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh. They were written off by the major media as a mismanaged joke, destined for failure and all but completely ignored by residents of Raleigh who were less than thrilled about making the drive to Greensboro for Hurricanes' games.

It was an uphill battle over the next few seasons as the Hurricanes looked to bolster their roster and muster the support of Raleigh natives, but their efforts were rewarded in 2002 as the Canes battled their way through the playoffs and appeared in the Cup finals against the Detroit Red Wings who would eventually defeat the Canes in 5 games. Although the next two seasons were a return to mediocrity, the Hurricanes came out after the 2004-05 lockout with a franchise best 52-22-8 record and would go on to surprise everyone with a Stanley Cup Championship over the Edmonton Oilers. The team seems to have secured a loyal fan base and has found a franchise player and leader in superstar center Eric Staal which has been bolstered by the acquisition of brother Jordan Staal. The Canes are developing into a reputable club with rising expectations every season.