RALEIGH — New Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon moved on from one Hall of Famer when he relieved GM Ron Francis of his duties in the spring. On Tuesday, it was revealed the team’s legendary broadcaster is also on the way out.
According to the News & Observer, Chuck Kaiton — enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004 as winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions in broadcasting — will not be back as the only radio voice the franchise has ever known. As previously rumored, the team will instead simulcast the television broadcast done by John Forslund and Tripp Tracy, the N&O’s Luke DeCock reported.
Kaiton joined the Hartford Whalers in 1979 and came with the franchise to North Carolina when it relocated in 1997 and was reborn as the Carolina Hurricanes. A Detroit native, Kaiton attended the University of Michigan and worked as a broadcaster at his alma mater before moving on to the University of Wisconsin.
Kaiton moved up to the NHL when Hartford, previously the New England Whalers, was one of the WHA teams folded into the league following the NHL-WHA merger. He has been president of the NHL Broadcasters Association since 1986 and was on the call when the Hurricanes won their lone Stanley Cup in 2006. Kaiton is known for both broadcasting the game alone without the assistance of a color commentator and for his efforts in pronouncing all players’ names the way in which they are said in their native tongues.
The Hurricanes had previously expressed that the radio broadcast was losing money and simulcasting the television broadcast was an option. With Kaiton and the team unable to come to an agreement on a new deal — one Kaiton, 66, called “a substantial decrease” in the N&O article — that option has seemingly become a reality.