Being in the spotlight was never part of Tom Dundon’s plan when he became the new owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Yet that is where he’s found himself, in the early stages of rebuilding a club that’s desperately in need of a rebrand, too. It’s a concept Dundon understands well as he begins his journey to transform Carolina into a strong hockey market.
“I think the brand of the team is probably on the lower end of the spectrum for professional sports and in the NHL in particular,” Dundon said during an interview on Hockey Central at Noon on Monday. “As that brand starts to evolve and players like [Sebastian] Aho and [Andrei] Svechnikov and guys like [new head coach Rod] Brind’Amour start to define what we’re about, then I imagine you’ll see a lot less of me.”
That rebuilding process is already well-underway with a new head coach, new management, a bunch of new recruits via the draft (including No. 2 overall pick Svechnikov) and a blockbuster trade that sent Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm to Calgary for Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and prospect Adam Fox.
But none of it will mean anything if the team can’t translate it into wins.
“The whole ‘winning the summer’ thing is probably not that interesting to me. It’s cliche, but obviously it doesn’t matter until you play and start winning,” he said. “And hopefully we play different and win more and then that should start defining the organization.”
That’s the job of general manager Don Waddell and his staff. Dundon’s mission now is to shine the spotlight on his players.
“At this moment, I think we’re anonymous, whether it’s in our town or across the league, and we do have good players and it’s not fair to them that people don’t know about them,” Dundon said. “If you can win and bring a little more attention to the franchise and to some of these players, I think those are all good things.”
The owner also opened up about some of the lessons he’s learned so far at the helm of the Hurricanes, his experience at the draft, and more. Listen to the full interview: