Karmanos selling ECHL team to focus on Canes: ‘I like owning the Hurricanes … Why would we ever move?’

Peter Karmanos has every intention of selling the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.

He has no intention of selling the Carolina Hurricanes.

In an interview Tuesday, Karmanos said the fact he has put the Everblades and their arena in Estero, Fla., on the market should not be interpreted as an indication he wants or has plans to divest all of his hockey interests.

“I like owning the Hurricanes,” Karmanos said.

Told that his decision to sell the Everblades could cause concern, even some nervousness, among Canes fans, Karmanos laughed.

“Some people have been nervous ever since we moved to North Carolina (in 1997),” he said. “Some called us carpetbaggers. Some were nervous when Compuware stock dropped.

“I keep saying we have one of the best arena deals in the league. We have one of the best facilities. We’re in one of the fastest-growing markets in the country. Why would we ever move?”

The sale of the Everblades, an ECHL affiliate for the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League and the Canes, was announced late Monday. Germain Arena, a 7,000-seat multi-purpose facility, also is being sold.

When the deal is completed, it will end Karmanos’ 15-year ownership of the team, which won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup last season.

“I bought the team as a lark in the late 1990s and we built a very nice building there,” Karmanos said. “It was fun winning the championship last year. I just couldn’t get down to Florida as much as I would have liked, only a handful of times in 15 years.

“I’m 70 years old. I’d like to focus most of my energy on the Hurricanes.”