Action on the Ice

Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau | visitraleigh.comAction on the Ice

Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh

Even though ponds seldom freeze in the Tar Heel State, there’s plenty of winter ice hockey action on rinks in big indoor arenas. North Carolina has three professional hockey teams and one Stanley Cup to prove they have great competitive potential.

Carolina Hurricanes

In 1997, the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes came south to Raleigh from Connecticut after nearly 20 years as the Hartford Whalers. Over time, the team developed a loyal and raucous fan base that calls itself the “Caniacs.” At one point during the 2002 playoffs, Canadian sportscaster Don Cherry said the Hurricanes had “the loudest building in the NHL.”

The Hurricanes have made some amazing playoff runs during their time in Raleigh, including three Southeast Division titles, two Eastern Conference Championships, and the ultimate prize: the 2006 Stanley Cup. The Carolina Hurricanes are the first major league sports franchise in North Carolina to win a championship, and the team continues to thrill its fans at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. With a mascot named “Stormy,” the Carolina Hurricanes deliver some lightning-fast hockey fun.

Charlotte Checkers

Back in 1956, Charlotte also inherited its professional hockey team from a city to the north. When the home rink of the Eastern Hockey League’s Baltimore Clippers was destroyed by fire, the team was forced to play its final six home games in Charlotte. More than 10,000 fans showed up for the first game against the New Haven Blades. The Clippers moved permanently the next season, and became the Charlotte Checkers in 1960. The original Checkers jumped to the Southern Hockey League in 1973, then folded along with the rest of that league in 1977.

The Checkers were reborn in 1993 as a member of the ECHL, and have been a winter fixture in Charlotte ever since, winning the league’s Kelly Cup Championship in 1996, and moving into the brand-new uptown Time-Warner Cable Arena in 2005. In 2010, the Checkers became an affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes and were promoted to the American Hockey League. As the Hurricanes' top minor-league affiliate, the Checkers receive many of the team's top prospects and draft picks to further their development.

Fayetteville FireAntz

The newest addition to North Carolina’s hockey heritage plays in the Southern Professional Hockey League. The Fayetteville FireAntz came into existence in 2002 as the Cape Fear FireAntz. The team played seasons in both the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and the South East Hockey League before joining the Southern Professional Hockey League in 2004.

The FireAntz also have a league championship to their credit, winning the SPHL’s President’s Cup in 2007. Fayetteville plays its home games at the Crown Center amid cheering crowds led by their mascot Anthony.

Request your Travel Guide

Download or order FREE guides and maps

Discover Project Project 543

Explore unique spots across North Carolina