Since their inception in 1998, the Everblades have hosted 2,304,431 fans in 358 regular season games, an average of 6,437 per game, and have led the ECHL in attendance in five of the past eight seasons. Germain Arena and the Everblades hosted the 2003 Compuware/ECHL All-Star game and have led the Kelly Cup Playoffs attendance in six of their ten seasons in the ECHL. The Everblades have also earned a post-season berth in all ten seasons of their existence in the ECHL. During the 2003-04 season, the Everblades captured the Eastern Conference title and made their first ever trip to the Kelly Cup Finals, and followed that up by becoming the first team in Kelly Cup history to make back-to-back trips to the Kelly Cup Finals after capturing the 2004-05 American Conference Championship. Florida was also awarded the regular season championship Brabham Cup following the 1998-99 season when they finished with a club record 108 points.
The Florida Everblades are a team of individuals who work hard on the ice to provide world-class sports entertainment for the fans. Each year off the ice, the Everblades strive to establish and maintain a reputation of integrity and professionalism through initiatives that are sensitive and responsive to the community it represents. This commitment began in the very first stages of forming this organization, and it continues throughout the ownership group, the management, and most importantly, the Florida Everblades players. Since the announcement that Florida was awarded an ECHL franchise, the club has touched thousands of children through a variety of educational programs, donations, special events and fan development initiatives. Throughout the Florida Everblades existence, the franchise has utilized the unique resources of our professional athletes, coaches, and staff to improve the quality of life throughout the community by:
- Reaching over 67,500 students through Everblades educational assemblies and reading programs.
- Donating over $700,000 to local charitable organizations.
- Presenting professional athletes as accessible role models in the community at more than 600 appearances.
- Donating street hockey equipment to twelve local Boys and Girls Club sites to increase participation in hockey.
- Annually donating autographed merchandise to over 200 local charities for auctions, dinners and raffles.
- Including our mascot 'Swampee' in over 600 community events, festivals, and appearances.
- Raising over $850,000 for local schools by partnering with One For the Community to sell Entertainment books.
- Proactively involving the franchise in a variety of community outreach programs , including the Teddy Bear Toss, Jersey Auctions, Habitat for Humanity, Gators Galore, Pelican's in Paradise, Food Drives, Goodwill collections and many other fundraisers.
PETER KARMANOS JR.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - Compuware Corporation
Peter Karmanos Jr. holds the dual role as the Principal Owner/Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Carolina Hurricanes and as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Compuware Corporation.
With his partner Jim Rutherford, Karmanos acquired the NHL franchise on June 28, 1994 - the afternoon of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. After three financially unsuccessful seasons in Hartford, Conn., and after an agreement on a new facility between the team and the state of Connecticut could not be reached, Karmanos announced he would relocate the franchise to Raleigh, N.C. on May 6, 1997.
There, Karmanos signed a 30-year lease with the city of Raleigh and the state. In the summer of 1998, Karmanos formed Gale Force Holdings to manage his hockey interests, which include the Carolina Hurricanes and the RBC Center; the Florida Everblades of the ECHL and the Germain Arena in Ft. Myers, Fla.; and the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and Compuware Arena.
Karmanos attended Wayne State University in Detroit. He founded Compuware in 1973 with two partners who, with Karmanos, pooled their tax return money to start the company. Compuware is currently one of the largest independent software vendors in the world. Karmanos' initiative and business prowess were recognized in 1989 by the Institute of American Entrepreneurs, which named him Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 1999, Karmanos ensured that his company would not lose sight of its roots when he decided to relocate more than 4,100 highly skilled jobs from Compuware's headquarters in Farmington Hills, Mich., to Campus Martius, a business district in the heart of downtown Detroit.
The same competitive spirit that led to Karmanos' success as an entrepreneur also fuels his 30-year sponsorship of youth hockey programs. In Detroit, Karmanos sponsors the Plymouth Junior Whalers (players ages 20-under), which was the first American club to play in the Ontario Hockey League. The Plymouth Junior Whalers have produced some of the top NHL prospects in the past few seasons.
While the junior and midget teams are the focal points of Karmanos' commitment, countless youth hockey programs benefit each season through the efforts and sponsorship of the Carolina Hurricanes and Compuware. In December 1997, Karmanos was chosen as one of four recipients of the Lester Patrick Award. Originating in 1966, the award is given annually to individuals who are recognized for "outstanding service to hockey in the United States."
In addition to his business and hockey interests, Karmanos is widely known for his philanthropy, particularly in the area of cancer research. In 1995, Karmanos established the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit with donations that now total in excess of $26 million. The institute is the largest such facility in Michigan dedicated to fighting cancer. The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a system of integrated cancer research facilities originally formed by the Michigan Cancer Foundation, was renamed for Karmanos' first wife, who died of breast cancer in 1989 at the age of 46. It is the only nationally recognized cancer center to be named for a woman. In 1996, the Jimmy Fund, which works to prevent, treat and eliminate cancer in children and adults, presented Karmanos with a lifetime membership to the Jimmy Fund Council of Connecticut for his volunteerism and contributions.
Although he is a frequent visitor to Raleigh, Karmanos lives in suburban Detroit where he oversees daily operations at Compuware. He has three sons: Peter III, Nick and Jason.
Craig Brush, the President of the Florida Everblades, along with partner Peter Karmanos, founded the Everblades and Germain Arena in 1998. Brush, a native of Milton, Ontario, oversees all aspects of both the hockey club and the sports complex.
Brush played hockey for three seasons at Cornell University and was a member of the 1970 undefeated NCAA Championship team. Craig also coached in the Compuware youth hockey program for many years.
Craig and his wife, Kyle, split time between Estero, Florida and Birmingham, Michigan. The couple has three sons, Matt, Tyler and Patrick.
|1998-99||70||45||20||5||253||180||95||2nd, Southeast Div.|
|1999-00*||70||53||15||2||277||181||108||1st, Southeast Div.|
|2000-01||72||38||26||8||236||242||84||2nd, Southeast Div.|
|2001-02||72||37||27||8||207||221||82||5th, Southeast Div.|
|2002-03||72||35||23||14||239||243||84||4th, Southeast Div.|
|2003-04**||72||37||25||10||239||221||84||3rd, Southern Div.|
|2004-05**||72||42||20||10||237||192||94||2nd, South Div.|
|2005-06||72||48||20||4||267||208||100||2nd, South Div.|
|2006-07||72||44||22||6||272||212||94||1st, South Div.|
|2007-08||72||39||25||8||230||198||86||4th, South Div.|
* - Brabham Cup Regular Season Champions
** - Conference Champions
Keith Aucoin – Carolina Hurricanes (2005-07)
Eric Boulton – Buffalo Sabres (2000-04) & Atlanta Thrashers (2005-08)
David Brine – Florida Panthers (2007-08)
Shane Hnidy – Ottawa Senators (2000-04), Nashville Predators (2003-04), Atlanta Thrashers (2005-07) & Boston Bruins (2007-08)
Greg Koehler – Carolina Hurricanes (2000-01)
Greg Kuznik – Carolina Hurricanes (2000-01)
Chad LaRose – Carolina Hurricanes (2005-08)
Drew Larman – Florida Panthers (2006-07)
Martin Lojek – Florida Panthers (2006-08)
Brett Lysak – Carolina Hurricanes (2003-04)
Eric Manlow – Boston Bruins (2000-02) & New York Islanders (2002-04)
Jason Morgan – LA Kings (1996-98), Calgary Flames (2003-04), Nashville Predators (2003-04), Chicago Blackhawks (2005-06) & Minnesota Wild (2006-07)
Remi Royer – Chicago Blackhawks (1998-99)
Damian Surma – Carolina Hurricanes (2002-04)