There have long been rumors of a potential move involving the Carolina Hurricanes, and every time those rumors have gathered steam Hurricanes ownership has refuted them, but it might be a little harder this time.
One reporter, Marie Jocelle Cauvier, has been paying very, very close attention to anything and everything that could potentially impact a relocation to Quebec City and has compiled a ton of research that has led her to believe the Hurricanes will be on the move, and could be on the move as early as 2016.
As stated Cauvier has tracked absolutely everything, including plane traffic, yes plane traffic, and it has led to her some very interesting conclusions. Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has moved the team once before, when they were the Hartford Whalers, and when he did he retained a firm during the process, Allen & Co. Back in August Cauvier spotted two private planes from Raleigh land in Quebec City, including one belonging to a legal firm, and one day later a private plane from none other than Allen & Co. followed suit, leaving only three days later. That's not all, although Cauvier never spotted the man himself, she noted several visits from a private plane often used by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made a few surprise trips to Trois-Rivieres, which is only minutes away from Quebec City.
Allen & Co's plane has made several more visits since, and suddenly in March at the request of the owners of the plane that air traffic was made private, perhaps as a results of the reports from Cauvier. These visits, as well as the upgrades Quebecor has announced to make their arena NHL ready, could be copied and pasted from the moves made by the future owners of the Winnipeg Jets just months before they got their team.
There's also the matter of how much money Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has in his pockets, Cauvier reports the sale of his company Compuware at $67 million dollars has already been eclipsed by the losses of the Hurricanes at $72 million dollars. There is now talk, again according to Cauvier, that Karmanos could sell to Quebecor, move the team to Quebec, and retain a minority stake in the team.
This story was first reported by Quebec hockey insider Marco Normandin, you can read his original report and find a link to all of Cauvier's work here, although both are entirely in French.
UPDATE: Two more big name sources now supporting Cauvier's theory.