The ECHL's Johnstown Chiefs will be moving to Greenville, South Carolina beginning in the 2010-11 season. This must've slipped past our collective radar when it was announced and approved by the league last month. But I just read an interesting article yesterday on ESPN.
Basically, the Chiefs, named by fans after the iconic team from the film Slap Shot — which was shot locally — have been on their last legs. Nobody is going to games and the team is piling up losses in more than just the standings.
Now the club will head to a former ECHL city which lost its original team, the Greenville Grrrowl (yes, that's three Rs in Grrrowl), when it folded in 2006. Not sure why hockey's expected to be a better draw four years later, but that's not a question for me to ask.
The reason this is relevant to Icethetics is it means we'll be following the rebranding of a franchise. Former Chiefs minority owner Ned Nakles is retaining the name and logo which means the ECHL will add a new team name and logo next season. (Hoping it's not Grrrowl.)
And finally, the Chiefs wore what will probably be their last specialty sweater over this past weekend.
The jerseys are a tribute to the U.S. Marine Corps and the design is based on their dress uniforms. The Chiefs first wore them on Friday, grabbing their first W in two weeks with a 7-4 victory of the Toledo Walleye.
Unfortunately I can't seem to track down any photos of the jersey in action. Seems the Chiefs' web guys have pretty much given up this season too. They're just recycling photos in their game recaps.
Anyway, I noticed the numbers come straight from their NHL affiliate's white jerseys — the Minnesota Wild. Anyone know if the Wild will retain their affiliation agreement with the new Greenville team?
Rivermen Revert to the Past
The AHL's Peoria Rivermen pranced out in Peoria Prancers jerseys over the weekend, paying tribute to the 1980s.
The Prancers were founded in the International Hockey League in 1982 and became the Peoria Rivermen two years later. Then in 1996, the franchise moved to San Antonio, Texas and were renamed the Dragons.
That same year an ECHL franchise was created with the Peoria Rivermen name. No one would've noticed except that all the players and management would've changed. Same logo and colors otherwise.
Then in 2005, that team went away and the AHL's Worcester IceCats moved to Peoria — becoming the third franchise to use that Rivermen moniker. I only offer the history lesson to point out that this isn't a tribute to franchise's past so much as the town's hockey past.
Looking at this jersey, I can't imagine why they ever changed their name in 1984. If you can't get enough of it either, Central Illinois Sports Photography has posted a huge gallery from the game — which Peoria won 4-1 (video included).
Thanks to Joe for the tip on this story.
Usually my hobby (hockey blogger) and my job (TV promotions producer) never intersect. I work at a news station in Florida and hockey isn't a popular topic here for obvious reasons. But last night was the exception.
Every night, I write/produce/edit a :30 promo for our 11 PM newscast to run during primetime. And in last night's newscast, our producer included video of Jim Playfair's freak-out behind the Abbotsford Heat bench over the weekend. Naturally I had to include it in the promo. And I thought I'd share it with you guys too.
Caps vs. Pens for 2011 Winter Classic?
Canada's National Post is reporting that the Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Washington Capitals for the next Winter Classic in 2011. Word is they would use Heinz Field — home of the NFL's Steelers. But the Post doesn't cite a source for the report.
The NHL has yet to make an official statement on which teams will be involved in the next outdoor game. The Pens participated in the inaugural event in 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium against the Buffalo Sabres.