The Carolina Hurricanes are an American professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina, that competes in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Hurricanes are a member club of the league's Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes play their home games at the 18,680-seat PNC Arena. The franchise was formed in 1971 as the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association (WHA), and joined the NHL in 1979 as part of the NHL–WHA merger, renaming themselves the Hartford Whalers. The team relocated to North Carolina in 1997 and won its first Stanley Cup during the 2005–06 season, beating the Edmonton Oilers, four games to three.
The New England Whalers were established in November 1971 when the World Hockey Association (WHA) awarded a franchise to begin play in Boston, Massachusetts. For the first two years of their existence, the club played their home games at the Boston Arena and Boston Garden. With the increasing difficulty of scheduling games at Boston Garden (owned by the NHL rival Boston Bruins), the owners decided to move the team to Hartford, Connecticut, beginning with the 1974–75 season. While waiting for the completion of a new arena in Hartford, the Whalers played the first part of the season at The Big E Coliseum in West Springfield, Massachusetts. On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game in front of a sellout crowd at the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum, and would maintain its home there through 1997.