Caniac Carnival a win with hockey-starved fans

Posted September 30, 2012

— For fans of the Carolina Hurricanes waiting for a start to the hockey season, Sunday's Caniac Carnival was a chance to celebrate their sport. 

The carnival, in its 14th year, usually serves as a signal that the season is about to begin. But the National Hockey League has already canceled the preseason, and regular-season games, slated to begin Oct. 11, are in jeopardy as owners and players stand off over the next collective bargaining agreement.

2012 Caniac Carnival 2012 Caniac Carnival

"The possibility of that not happening is just real disappointment. I hope they can get an agreement worked out," said fan Sue Hardee.

Sunday marked Kennedy Cross's sixth time at the Caniac Carnival. "It's really fun," she said.

But something was missing. Players, who usually draw long lines for autographs and pictures, were absent this year, a result of the lockout.

Organizers tried to blunt that disappointment by opening the floor of PNC Arena to fans, allowing visitors the perspective from a player's point of view. Families hung out and took pictures on the team bench. They played floor hockey and spent time in the penalty box. 

"They're usually in the stands, so being able to be down here and see the Jumbotron up above and all the red seats out there, I think it's great," said Matt Kuppinen.

"I'm having great fun," Kuppinen's 3-year-old son echoed.

2012 Caniac Carnival Hockey fans crave Caniac Carnival

Sunday's turnout signaled the support the Hurricanes can claim even with their season in the balance.

"I'm still a Caniac if there's no hockey," Hardee said.

This is the fourth time in 20 years that the league and players have disagreed about revenue sharing. The NHL canceled the entire 2004-05 season because of a lockout that eventually led to the collective bargaining agreement that expired this month.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • kweb1013 Oct 1, 2012

    Hockey starved, yes. This event being a hit with the fans, no way. We as fans deserve more than this!

  • evenflow2005 Oct 1, 2012

    Sad, the NHL had a record breaking year in attendance last year. Now this. Do they really think that the fans are that starved for hockey ? Most are mad. Bring back a minor league team to Raleigh.

  • BigUNCFan Oct 1, 2012

    The meethings the players and owners are having are for small issues like health insurance and stuff like that just to meet. The big money issues are still not even being discussed.

  • BigUNCFan Oct 1, 2012

    I suspect that they lockout will last a while (at least until the begining of the new year).

  • bkahuna Oct 1, 2012

    Hardly anyone showed up....and nowhere near the 3,000 reported. More like 300. At least one month of the regular season has been lost.

  • caniacman Oct 1, 2012

    Didn't go this year, because part of the fun is seeing the players, and no offense to Stormy really didnt care to get his autograph. 3 days of meetings and no real results. Not that I am surprised.

  • Pepe Silvia Oct 1, 2012

    Monkeyboy - Regular season wasn't scheduled to start yet, however the Canes would have already played 5 games and had another 3 this week if the preseason games had not been cancelled.

  • monkeyboy Oct 1, 2012

    "Caniac Carnival a win with hockey-starved fans"

    that hardly seems possible, especially since the season wasn't even scheduled to begin for almost 2 more weeks. way to get all sensational and stir the pot, wral...