RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – PNC Arena and Hurricanes fans got national attention during the 2020-2021 playoffs for the intensity and noise level at home games. Despite having limited capacity throughout the postseason, there was no lack of enthusiasm.
This season, fans are back to 100 percent attendance.
“I’m so excited. It’s going to be a fun year and it’s going to be great to have all the fans back this year. And it’s just going to be a lot of fun. The group that we have, we’re excited for them and just excited to get the year going,” said defenseman Jaccob Slavin at Thursday morning’s skate.
“We’ve been waiting for that for a while and we’ve been working hard to get ready for the real games, and it’s just really exciting,” added Sebastian Aho.
There have been a lot of offseason moves with the ‘Canes organization, so lots of new faces on the ice. For head coach Rod Brind’Amour, the first game is a chance to see how his new pieces fit with who he already had.
“We kind of want to see what we have and get started. That’s the feeling and just to have that energy in the building again. We got it at the end of the year last year so it was kind of felt somewhat normal but we’re just anxious to get going,” he said.
“You have a full summer of no hockey and you finally play the game that you love again, and for a reason. So it’s fun, guys are hyped up, fans are hyped up so it just makes it a fun experience overall,” Slavin added.
The Hurricanes had a tailgate with music, an inflatable Stormy, balloons, and other fun attractions for fans.