The owner and chief executive officer of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, Peter Karmanos, Jr., has used his business acumen to build an empire of hockey at all levels of the game in the United States for more than five decades. In 1994, he acquired the Hartford Whalers and two seasons later moved the team to Raleigh, N.C. 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. In addition, the team has advanced to the conference finals three times in the last 11 seasons and captured the Eastern Conference title in 2002 and 2006. The Hurricanes were recognized as the top hockey franchise and second-ranked franchise in all of sports in 2009 by ESPN in the "Ultimate Standings," a collection of data and survey results that take into account a team's on-ice success as well as its community impact and overall fan experience. As retired executive chairman of the board for Detroit-based Compuware, he has sponsored one of America's most successful youth hockey programs of the same name. Karmanos also owns the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, the ECHL's Florida Everblades and several arenas. In 2012 he received USA Hockey's Distinguished Achievement Award, and in 1998 the NHL honored him with the Lester Patrick Award for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States.