NHL Hockey Betting: Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Hockey Betting:  Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes

Strange days for the Carolina Hurricanes. The fans in Raleigh are now rivaling the Florida Panthers’ miserable supporters for worst in the league. In fact, they’re dead last in attendance at just over 11,000 per game despite putting a hard working and improving young team on the ice. The Hurricanes are 8-8-4 on the year which isn’t great but not bad enough to justify such apathy from their fans. At this point, the NHL has moved beyond the ‘will hockey work in non-traditional markets’ arguement. There are great franchises with passionate fans in cities as disparate as Nashville and Tampa. Poor fan support can no longer be scapegoated with the ‘non traditional market’ argument when Las Vegas, Nevada has recently been awarded a franchise. I’d like to see the NHL have far less patience with weak fan support–and particularly when the performance of the team doesn’t justify it. There are plenty of cities in the US (Portland, Seattle) and even more in Canada that would gladly embrace a team.

The Florida Panthers are in the same boat and their fans have even less of an excuse. The Panthers management has done their level best to put a talented team on the ice with young players like Aaron Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov combined with veterans like Roberto Luongo. And then there’s legitimate legend Jaromir Jagr. Jagr could have called it a career long ago and just lived large. Instead, he comes to the rink every day and sets an example for the entire locker room. When a player in his mid 40’s staring up at only two names on the NHL goal scoring ledger–a guy named ‘Gretzky’ and another guy named ‘Howe’–demonstrates this much commitment and love for the game he deserves fan support. South Florida should be lining up for tickets just to watch this icon go about his business.

In a perfect world we’d be talking about the Portland Panthers and the Hamilton Hurricanes. Instead, we’ll point out that the team representing Florida (for the time being) has won 6 straight over the team representing North Carolina (for the time being). At a reasonable price, the Panthers look like the play.