Thomas Dundon was shooting baskets on the floor at PNC Arena Thursday afternoon when the last wire transfer went through. At that moment, the 46-year-old was one pro forma NHL signature away from owning the Carolina Hurricanes. For Dundon, the Dallas billionaire who bought the team out of a competitive spirit and belief he can find a better way to do things, his first hours as the owner of a major-league team didn’t feel any different. Since reaching a purchase agreement with Peter Karmanos in December, Dundon has been meeting with Hurricanes employees and players, making plans and getting ready for this day. Even before the sale went through Thursday afternoon, giving him 61 percent of the team in a deal that valued the franchise at $550 million, Dundon already had arena employees working on the first behind-the-scenes changes, taking measurements and drawing up plans. By the time Dundon makes his first public appearance Friday morning, alongside Karmanos and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, things will already have changed for the Hurricanes. And they will continue to change. “We’re questioning everything,” Dundon said Thursday, and they might as well stencil that above the door. Not the locker room door, though. Dundon said he’s happy with the work done by general manager Ron Francis and coach Bill Peters and loves the team’s upward ascendance. A lot of what Dundon will do is drawn from the playbook his friend Mark Cuban put together when he bought the Dallas Mavericks, but people forget Cuban inherited Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki. The same might be said of Dundon someday. His only real complaint right now is that the players aren’t big enough stars in this market – and he wants to do everything he can to change that.
Carolina Hurricanes sale to Thomas Dundon approved by NHL
Raleigh News & Observer | Jan 12