Peter Karmanos has been a passionate builder and supporter of hockey at all levels of the game in the United States for more than five decades.
Growing up in Detroit, hockey was always his favorite sport, but it wasnâ€™t until he took his sons to a 'learn to skate' program that his passion grew into what it is today.
His competitive spirit led to enormous success as the co-founder of Compuware, a Detroit-based technology performance company that was established in 1973.
Karmanos used the namesake of his technology firm to build one of American's most successful youth club programs. Compuware Hockey, based in the Detroit metro area, has produced several players who went on to outstanding hockey careersâ€”including Pat LaFontaine, Al lafrate, Mike Modano, Eric Lindros and Kevin Hatcher.
Karmanos also supported the first American club to play in the Ontario Hockey League with the now-Plymouth Whalers. The franchise has qualified for the OHL playoffs in 22 of 23 seasons and has produced 16 first round NHL Draft picks, including Americans like Bryan Berard, David Legwand, J.T. Miller and Ryan Hartman.
1n 1994, Karmanos' reach expanded to the National Hockey League, when he acquired the Hartford Whalers and became the principal owner, governor and chief executive officer of the team. Two years later, he relocated the club to Raleigh, NC, and changed the name of the franchise to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Since the team's arrival in North Carolina, the Hurricanes have enjoyed success both on and off the ice, highlighted by winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. The team has advanced to the conference finals three times in the last 11 season and captured the Eastern Conference title in 2002 and 2006. Additionally, in 2011 the Hurricanes staged a memorable NHL All-Star Weekend.
Over the last five years, the Hurricanes have been among the top franchises in all of sports according to the ESPN Ultimate Standings, a collection of data and survey results that include on-ice success, community impact and overall fan experience.
Karmanos has collected a variety of awards for his contributions to hockey. The NHL honored him with the Lester Patrick Award in 1998 for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. In 2010, Karmanos received the OHL's Bill Long Award for outstanding contributions to the league and he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. In June 2012, USA Hockey presented him with the Distinguished Achievement Award.