Worst Franchise in the NHL?

Brock Maloy, Ads Manager

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Carolina Hurricanes, NHL’s red headed step child team.  Home to one Stanley Cup wins in a sea of despair for the NHL franchise. Carolina is a place where players go to be mediocre. Not good but usually not bad teams; just middle of the road missing the playoffs by a slim margin. You may be thinking, “Well that’s unfair; they have only been in the league since 1997. At least they have one ring.” Wrong, along with only one season above 100 points since 1997, they also were one of the biggest failed franchises of all time, the Hartford Whalers, prior to moving to Carolina.

1979 was the inaugural season for the Hartford Whalers, and they finished 27-34-19 with just 73 points. Good thing they are just an expansion team, as they can only progress? Wrong–they only regressed for the next three seasons with a pair of 60 point seasons and one of the worst seasons of all time in 1982 with 45 points (not a lockout year). Their only success came in 1985 when Hartford won their first and only playoff series. Other than reaching the post season again the next year, until 1996 they were filled with misery. Only once did the Whalers earn more than 90 points in one season. Finally, they were so bad they decided to relocate to Carolina where their attendance and regular season success hasn’t gotten much better.

The Hurricanes, led by Jordan Staal, are coming off a Cinderalla story season and breaking a nine-year playoff drought. Reaching the conference finals for their fourth time was not enough to excite the non-existent fanbase, however. The Canes finished 26th in attendance with an average of 15,000 attending each game. Sadly, however, that is pretty good attendance for Carolina, as usually they are last in the league, averaging 12,000 a game, which basically looks like a high school team is playing.  For Carolina to finally reach the next step they need to start with a total overhaul and a complete relocation of the team.