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Hurricanes returning to TECO

Naples Daily News

ESTERO -- The Carolina Hurricanes will be returning to Southwest Florida for their training camp this fall. Only it will be for the second part of camp instead of to open it.

Carolina owner Peter Karmanos, also part-owner of the Everblades and TECO Arena, said Saturday night that the NHL club would open training camp at home in Raleigh, N.C., then come down to TECO Arena.

"It's the best training facility in the NHL," Karmanos said.

There will likely be at least one exhibition game at the arena as well. The Hurricanes opened their 1999 training camp at the arena and played one exhibition game. A second exhibition game against the Florida Panthers was canceled because of an approaching hurricane.

The Panthers are still owed a game from that.

Karmanos said he is feeling well. He had emergency heart surgery this year and has relinquished his involvement in day-to-day operations of the club.

The Hurricanes won earlier in the day on Saturday and Karmanos was following the Montreal-Ottawa game to see if the team could keep its playoff hopes alive. Carolina, which is battling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, wraps up the regular season against Atlanta today.

Karmanos continues to be amazed at the success of both the Everblades and the arena, which will host United States Basketball League, arenafootball2 and Florida Gulf Coast University basketball.

"You've got to take it from when (team president) Craig (Brush) first had the idea to build the building," he said. "It's been just one good thing after another.

"The whole thing has been one of the most positive things I've ever seen."

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