Karmanos Selected for U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
Hurricanes owner joins Guerin, Weight, Mason and Curley in 2013 class
Karmanos has used his business acumen to build an empire of hockey at all levels of the game in the United States for more than five decades, including the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers and the Compuware youth hockey program in Michigan.
With his partners Thomas Thewes and Jim Rutherford, Karmanos acquired the NHL franchise now known as the Carolina Hurricanes on June 28, 1994. After three financially unsuccessful seasons in Hartford, Conn., and after an agreement on a new facility between the team and the state of Connecticut could not be reached, Karmanos announced he would relocate the franchise to Raleigh, NC, on May 6, 1997. Since their arrival in North Carolina, the Hurricanes have enjoyed tremendous all-around success. On the ice, the team has advanced to the Conference Finals three times in the last 11 seasons, capturing Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2006 and the Stanley Cup in 2006. Off of the ice, the Hurricanes have become a key component of the sporting landscape in North Carolina, and in 2009 were recognized as the top hockey franchise and second-ranked franchise in all of sports by ESPN in the “Ultimate Standings,” a collection of data and survey results that takes into account a team’s on-ice or on-field success, as well as its community impact and overall fan experience. The spotlight shined on the Hurricanes franchise again in January 2011, when the team and city of Raleigh earned tremendous praise for the successful 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend.
As the retired executive chairman of the board for Detroit-based Compuware, Karmanos has sponsored one of the nation’s most successful youth hockey programs of the same name. He also owns the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, which was the first American club to play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Compuware youth hockey programs, including the Plymouth Whalers, have produced many NHL stars over the years including Pat LaFontaine, Al Iafrate, Mike Modano, Eric Lindros and Kevin Hatcher. Countless youth hockey programs benefit each season through the efforts and sponsorship of Carolina Hurricanes and Compuware. In December 1997, Karmanos was chosen as one of four recipients of the Lester Patrick Award. Originating in 1966, the award is given annually to individuals who are recognized for “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.” In 2010, Karmanos received the Ontario Hockey League’s Bill Long Award, presented in recognition and appreciation of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the OHL, and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. USA Hockey recognized Karmanos with its Distinguished Achievement Award in 2012.
U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of extraordinary contribution to the sport of hockey in the United States. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1973. To date, there are 156 enshrined members in the Hall. For information on the members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, visit USHockeyHallofFame.com. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, located in Eveleth, Minn., is open daily. For hours of operation and admission prices, visit USHockeyHallMuseum.com or call 800-443-7825.