The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t just fortunate to have a 24-19-8 record, they have earned it. The team comprised of youngsters and Finnish nationals has surprised many, being right in the playoff race after the All-Star break. The team has shown poise and knowledge, getting better at the things that hindered them earlier in the season.

They are currently on a three-game winning streak, tearing through the Eastern Conference. The Canes are 5-5 in their last ten, but their performance in these last three contests have asserted more than just confidence in the Raleigh faithful.

Savvy veteran Justin Williams has recorded four points in his last three games and has taken over the leadership role. It is very apparent on the ice that he has gained not only the trust of the younger guys, but he has earned their focus. Players like Sebastian Aho and Elias Lindholm joke around with him on the ice and continually seek his teaching. Williams earned eight points total in December and started off February with an assist.

As of late, the goalie issues that have plagued the team all season seem like a thought of the past. Cam Ward has continued his excellent winter form, starting in the Hurricanes last four contests and helping them to their current win streak. He has allowed 2.25 goals per game and averaged a .928 save percentage in these last four, which is much better than his usual averages.

Aside from all these wonderful statistics that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, there is a much greater reason to be excited about the rest of this season; Tom Dundon.

The newly crowned majority owner of the Hurricanes has been making some major moves with his newfound power, taking some big steps in making Raleigh a true hockey town. For the team’s home game against the Ottowa Senators earlier this week, Dundon announced that anyone who had an upper-level ticket to the game could move down to the lower bowl or a suite for no charge. His aim was to create a playoff-type atmosphere for the game to engage fans more. PNC Arena is notorious for having a lot of empty seats in the lower bowl, even during primetime games, which is a huge eyesore for those watching the television broadcast.

The Hurricanes currently average 12,936 fans per game which is only 69.3% of PNC’s capacity. These numbers reflect the second-lowest and lowest mark in the league, respectively.

Additionally, Dundon is creating and speeding up a lot of fan-oriented ideas. Some of these include early-bird parking discounts, a $97 “Canes Pass” for the first nine home games in February (seats would be different every game, including two lower bowl games), cheaper concessions like 16-ounce beers for $5, and potentially more games where fans can move down to the lower level for free. His most popular idea so far is putting Hartford Whalers gear up for sale in the team store at the arena. He wants to embrace the team’s past and recognizes that the fan base appreciates the classic logo and feel of that distant franchise that ultimately has led to the Hurricanes franchise today.

All of these are great initiatives and they are targeting the very things that are keeping fans from attending games. In a sense of finality, the true determinating factor of attendance is how good the team is, but things like concession prices and in-game promotions matter. Dundon has come out and addressed these immediately, as he knows the team has a realistic shot at the playoffs this year.

Right now is the perfect time to dust off your Canes jersey and get to a game. Be apart of the changes coming to PNC and help create an electric atmosphere for a team that has the capability to be in the playoffs. It is an exciting time for hockey in North Carolina and Tom Dundon is a man that the city should get behind.

The Hurricanes continue their busy schedule with another home game against the Detroit Red Wings tonight at 7 p.m. eastern time.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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