The Eye Care Associates Storm Squad was created in 1999 with the opening of the Entertainment & Sports Arena (now PNC Arena) to pump up the crowds with cheers and skits and to facilitate in-game promotions. Since then, the Eye Care Associates Storm Squad has grown in size and popularity and is now as much a fixture at the games as Stormy and the Hurricanes goal horn! To this day the mission remains to enhance the experience of a Hurricanes game and promote the team in the community, with entertainment and enthusiasm that can be enjoyed by fans of all ages!
The popularity of the Storm Squad took off during the Hurricanes' trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002, continued during the 2006 championship run and has seen continued growth each season. They have become a favorite of opposing team's fans, the media, TV commentators and, of course, Caniacs of all ages.
Tryouts for the Eye Care Associates Storm Squad are held each year in August. More than 100 young men and women from local universities and the business community attend tryouts in hopes of earning a spot on the team. The prospective members are met by a panel consisting of 10-12 judges who work in the business operations departments for the Hurricanes and PNC Arena. The final members are picked based on a wide range of job skills including their personality, interpersonal skills, energy, ability to excel in public and customer relations, work ethic and athleticism.