Rutherford, 'Canes ready to win fans back

Posted January 15, 2013

— While his team continues to prepare for Saturday's season-opening tilt against the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Tuesday he understands that the club has work to do in repairing relationships with some fans angered by a 113-day lockout that forced the cancellation of nearly half the regular season. 

Some of that work started immediately after the players' union and league agreed to end the work stoppage, and more of it will continue during two home games next week when the Hurricanes promotional department offers dozens of special incentives for returning fans. Carolina Hurricanes Logo Carolina Hurricanes schedule

"Collective bargaining is always tough, but where we ended up with the players, this deal could have gotten done sooner and we wouldn't have missed games," Rutherford said. "I apologize to all of the people it impacted. I was as frustrated and disappointed as anyone."

When the Hurricanes welcome Tampa Bay Jan. 22 and Buffalo Jan. 24, fans can expect to see multiple giveaways,including suites on the club level of PNC Arena, on-ice seats and replica jerseys, Rutherford said. Jim Rutherford Rutherford: We're going to do the best we can

"These are things we don't normally do, and we're going to do the best we can to heal some of those wounds," Rutherford said. "You can never make up to the fans what we all went through the last six months, but all we can do is the best we can."

Rutherford and others associated with the team have talked at length in recent days about how an improved product on the ice will also help bring fans back into the fold. Several offseason moves, including the addition of talented offensive players Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin and the return of defenseman Joe Corvo, have Rutherford excited about the possibilities during a 48-game regular season. 

"We certainly we feel we have a much better chance to compete," Rutherford said. "We've invested more money from a pay point of view than we ever have before. We're excited about getting our team back on the ice."

Two days after officially returning to work, the players on Tuesday will be back in action at Raleigh Center Ice for a Red and White scrimmage at noon. The teams will be decided at the rink, and according to head coach Kirk Muller, the stakes will be determined by the players. 

Forwards Zac Dalpe, Riley Nash and Brett Sutter, all players who have played in the American Hockey League during the lockout, were called up from Charlotte to join the 'Canes for Tuesday's scrimmage.

The scrimmage is open to the public.


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  • 321oohaw Jan 15, 2013

    I believe I read that the tickets are going to be much cheaper this season. Prices are based on quality of product and based on this team's past performance they will be really inexpensive.

  • 321oohaw Jan 15, 2013

    Rutherford is a comedian.

  • Bob Sidel Jan 15, 2013

    View quoted thread

    There are certain seating areas that are limited to only full season ticket holders. The reason is because they are the best seats in the house. The organization is not going to give your family member a less than full season ticket package and then risk possibly of not being able to profit if the single game tickets don't sell. The Canes treat all of their season ticket holders very well but there comes a point when business is business.

  • caniacman Jan 15, 2013

    Will it be the cleanest hockey out the gate probably not, will every game have meaning and be hard fought, yes! No throw away games this year, for that it should be entertaining and I am ok with that. All the teams have the same issues the teams that gel the fastest, get good goaltending and can stay healthy will do well. From what I saw today E Staal and Semin are staring to gel very quickly. J Staal and Skinner are not far behind.

  • wlcat609 Jan 15, 2013

    I know you-all are really anxious to get back in the arena and watch ice hockey. But stop a minute and give it some thought - what kind of hockey will you be watching with a 6 day training camp, no preseason games to tweak the lines and some new players to blend into the Canes system. Traditionally is takes up to a month to six weeks to really get things sorted out and line mates to get to know each other and only then do you see REAL hockey. And this applies to the Canes and any opponent for this season. You want to spend your hard earned money to watch this - not me!

  • OGE Jan 15, 2013

    View quoted thread

    While I said otherwise...I've got to say I'm back to. I had forgotten about some of the solid players the Hurricanes had been getting before the lockout.

  • Jimmytwotimes Jan 15, 2013

    View quoted thread

    No way. this will accomplish nothing. Your only punishing yourself. I can't wait for season opener saturday!!! Go Canes!!

  • StunGunn Jan 15, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Wow - that is awful treatement, and I'm disappointed and surprised to see that.

    I don't blame Rutherford for the lockout, but he should be treating loyal fans like he appreciates them and offering special deals.

    Hockey is expensive, but no more expensive than other pro sports, and it's right here in Raleigh. I think the shortened season will create more sell-outs in the PNC. Like other said, a winning team will do more to pack the arena than anything else.

  • kenshi Jan 15, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Actually they have quite a few fans Mr Moleman.

  • StaggerLee Jan 15, 2013

    It will be a packed house for the season opener. And if they have a winning team, they will continue to pack the arena.




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