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2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Name Game: Carolina & Florida Panthers, Miami & Carolina Hurricanes



Panthers hurrcianes

Back in the early 1990s, there were two major sports teams which used the nicknames Panthers and Hurricanes. Both resided in South Florida. One belonged to the new NHL team, the other to the University of Miami.

Then North Carolina was awarded an expansion NFL team and it named itself the Panthers.

To be fair, the Florida Panthers had only had the name themselves for a few months.

The Carolina football group was awarded a franchise in October of 1993, the same month the expansion Florida Panthers began play in the NHL.

Mark Richardson, the son of team owner Jerry Richardson, apparently chose the nickname ‘Panthers’ because “it’s a name our family thought signifies what we thought a team should be — powerful, sleek and strong.”

The name ‘Florida Panthers’ was chosen by founder H. Wayne Huizenga because it represented the endangered cat which happens to the state animal.

Panthers hurricanes

Florida Panthers founding owner H. Wayne Huizenga.

It was also the nickname of Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale of which Huizenga was a proud alum.

Of course, the team considered being named the ‘Block Busters’ after the famous video rental chain Huizenga owned.

At least the Carolina football team wouldn’t have poached that one.

When it came to the the ‘Carolina Hurricanes,’ that name came from a couple of storms which pounded eastern North Carolina.

In 1997, Peter Karmanos Jr. packed up the Hartford Whalers and relocated them south to North Carolina.

It is a move still not spoken of kindly in the northeast although after some time, the Hurricanes have become quite popular in the Carolinas.

Karmanos reportedly came up with the name ‘Hurricanes’ without a fan contest, doing so based on Bertha and Fran hitting the state the year before east coast of North Carolina the year before the team moved south.

Of course, the University of Miami has used that nickname for its athletic teams since the great storm of 1926 wiped out the school’s new Coral Gables campus.

The Miami Hurricanes, from the 1980s into the 2000s, were one of the most popular brands in all of sports.

With the four teams sharing similar names, there has been some confusion over the years.

When the Carolina Panthers made it to Super Bowl 50, a television station in Quebec mistakingly used the Florida ‘leaping cat’ logo instead of the Carolina logo in a broadcast.

While we cannot recall anyone confusing the Carolina Hurricanes with the Miami Hurricanes, UM did join N.C. State in the ACC in the 2000s.

That meant Miami Hurricanes basketball games against the Wolfpack — at PNC Arena, which is also home to the hockey Hurricanes.

There have been times where the Miami Hurricanes played the Wolfpack in the morning, and the Florida Panthers played the Carolina Hurricanes later that night.

Carolina also uses a number of logos and chants used at Miami games for years such as the hurricane warning flags and ‘Lets Go Canes!’

The Carolina Hurricanes’ official Twitter hashtag is #LetsGoCanes which is better than them going with #TheU.

OK, that’s all we’ve got.

Enjoy Game 1.

The Carolina Panthers probably will.

  • When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 95.6 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Series Schedule — Game 1: Thursday at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 2:Saturday at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 3: Monday at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Wednesday, May 24 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*: Friday, May 26 at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Sunday, May 28 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Tuesday, May 30 at Carolina, 8 (TNT). *If Necessary
  • Season Series: (Carolina won 2-1): @Florida 3, Carolina 0 (Nov.9);@Carolina 4, Florida 0 (Dec. 30); Carolina 6, @Florida 4 (April 13)
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Carolina/Hartford leads 71-46-10, 11 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting
  • How They Got Here — Carolina: d. New York Islanders in 6; d. New Jersey Devils in 5. Florida: d. Boston Bruins in 7; d. Toronto Maple Leafs in 5.


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