Monday, June 20, 2016

The Roadrunners are back!

Starting next season, the Roadrunners are back! This time they will be the Tucson Roadrunners and will be the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. Here is a neat graphic showing their history through 5 different leagues they played in. They also spent a few years in Canada, playing in Toronto, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta. I'm thrilled to see 4 of my favourite hockey teams back on the ice; Manitoba Moose, Quad City Mallards, San Diego Gulls and now the Tucson Roadrunners.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wild Join British Columbia Hockey League

The Wenatchee Wild will join the BCHL as its 17th franchise starting with the 2015-16 season, the team and league announced Monday at a media conference held in the central Washington city.
“The BCHL is gaining a strong franchise in the Wenatchee Wild and we value the passion and professionalism they bring to our league,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “The Wild will quickly develop rivalries with our existing franchises and I believe they will be a big draw in opposing buildings.”
The Wild had been a member the North American Hockey League (NAHL) since the 2008-09 season. They have had a winning record in each of their seven seasons of existence and this past season, they had six players on their roster committed to NCAA Div. I programs. Playing out of Wenatchee’s Town Toyota Center, the team averages about 3,000 fans at home games.
Head coach Bliss Littler, a native of Minot, N.D., is entering his 22nd year as a Junior hockey coach.
“We could not be more excited or humbled to be joining the BCHL,” said Littler. “Knowing the history and reputation of the league, be it sending players to play NCAA Division I hockey, NHL draft picks or the professionalism of the member teams and league have, we look forward to being a good league member on and off the ice.”
As a U.S.-based club, the Wild will be allowed to roster a maximum of four Canadian players.
With today’s announcement, they become the first U.S.-based franchise in the BCHL since the Bellingham Ice Hawks, who operated from 1990 to 1995.
This is great news, as I have been following the Wild for a few seasons now, via their online game broadcasts. I have been hoping to make it down to a game for the past two seasons, as I was hoping to see a game vs the Odessa Jackalopes who played in the NAHL (The Jackanapes have been a favorite of mine since they played in the old WPHL in 1996). Sadly, now that the Wild have joined the BCHL, I will not get the chance to see the Jackalopes, but I will get to see the Wild when they come up here to play. This also might be just the kick I need to finally make it down to Wenatchee to catch a Wild home game.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ft Wayne Komets Pocket Schedule Holder

Here is the ECHL Ft Wayne Komets 2014/15 pocket schedule holder.

Langley Rivermen Pocket Schedule Holder

Here is the BCHL Langley Rivermen 2014/15 pocket schedule holder.

Surrey Eagles Pocket Schedule Holder

Here is the BCHL Surrey Eagles 2014/15 pocket schedule holder.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Orlando Solar Bears Unveil New Logos

The Orlando Solar Bears who join the ECHL next season, unveiled their new team colors and logos. I'm thrilled that yet another old IHL team is going to be hitting the ice next season, but those logos are not nearly as cool as their original logo. I loved the background with the palm trees and sun set in the old logo, and I hate the sun around the new one. It looks like they got it from a clip art disc.
At least they kept that great Solar Bears name!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fear the Spaceman

I love this years Ft Wayne Komets bumper sticker... Fear the Spaceman!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ft Wayne Komets Pocket Schedule Holders

I have been collecting hockey pocket schedules for the past 15 years and schedule holders have always been the holy grail of sked collecting for me, as they are harder to acquire, usually have great artwork and designs, and are a great way to display my skeds.
I recently received a package from my friend in Ft Wayne Indiana which included this years Komets pocket schedules along with a schedule holder display. I decided to take a photo of it, and then thought I should fine the other Komets schedule holders I had and photograph them as well. I think I have more Ft Wayne Komets sked holders and any other team, and they have had some great ones over the past few seasons, as they continued to win cup after cup!
Here are the seven Ft Wayne Komets schedule holders I have. I could not find ones for 2004-05 or 2006-07. I'm not sure if I don't have them, or just could not find them.

Ft Wayne Komets 2011-12 season

Ft Wayne Komets 2010-11 season

 Ft Wayne Komets 2009-10 season 

 Ft Wayne Komets 2008-09 season 

 Ft Wayne Komets 2007-08 season 

 Ft Wayne Komets 2005-06 season 

 Ft Wayne Komets 2003-04 season

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Orlando Solar Bears are Back!

I am pretty excited to see another former IHL team hitting the ice next season. Back in 2000, the Orlando Solar Bears won the final IHL Turner Cup before the league folded, with 6 of its teams continuing on to play in the AHL. I can't wait to see what their updated logo looks like once it is unveiled.  Below is the press release announcing the team.

City of Orlando Welcomes Home the Orlando Solar Bears. When the Orlando Solar Bears last skated off the ice 10 years ago, they carried the IHL’s final Turner Cup. Today owners of the Orlando ECHL team (Joe Haleski, Jason Siegel and Bob Ohrablo) were joined by City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Magic President Alex Martins, Executive Director of Orlando Venues Allen Johnson, and ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna, to announce that the team will be named the Orlando Solar Bears.

“The Solar Bears were a strong part of our community and it is with open arms that we welcome them back to Orlando,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “The new Amway Center was designed with the goal of housing a hockey team and features amenities specific to hockey. We look forward to showcasing our new state-of-the-art Amway Center to hockey fans here in Central Florida and giving them an experience they will never forget.”

ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer “The Orlando Solar Bears are coming out of hibernation,” said Bob Ohrablo, Chief Operating Officer/Managing Partner of Orlando Pro Hockey Operations, L.P.  “We are honored to bring the Solar Bears back to Orlando. Once the ECHL announced that we were awarded an expansion franchise, fans from throughout Central Florida made it clear to us to what the team’s name should be.  We want to continue the proud tradition established by the DeVos family.”

The Orlando Solar Bears, owned by RDV Sports, competed in the International Hockey League from 1995-2001.  In their six seasons, the Solar Bears won three Conference Championships and in 2000-2001 won the IHL championship trophy – the Turner Cup.  It was the last Turner Cup ever awarded.

"On behalf of the Orlando Magic family, we welcome Orlando Pro Hockey to Central Florida.  We are excited that we have formed a partnership with Orlando Pro Hockey that will enable them to revive the tradition of pro hockey established here by our organization in the past,” remarked Orlando Magic President Alex Martins.   

“On behalf of the ECHL Board of Governors, I am pleased to welcome the Orlando Solar Bears to the ECHL. Orlando is a dynamic city,” said McKenna. “That, combined with a world-class facility in theAmway Center and an experienced and enthusiastic ownership group, create a very positive outlook for the future of hockey in Orlando.”

“We are looking forward to bringing another family affordable entertainment option to Orlando and we are pleased with the initial response,” said Jason Siegel, President/Managing Partner.  “We anticipate that at least 60% of our lower bowl seats will be priced at $15 and under.  So far more than 700 season ticket deposits/information requests have come in through our website since the ECHL announced the approval of the expansion franchise two weeks ago.  We urge fans to visit our website and place a deposit. ”          

The Orlando Solar Bears will begin play at the Amway Center in October 2012.  Fans will be able to obtain ticket plan information by by filling out the form to the right. Season tickets plans will range in price from $195-$1350 per season seat.  Full and half season ticket plans will be available.

The team will unveil its’ team logos and jersey designs, announce its NHL and AHL affiliations, and introduce its coaching staff over the next 6-8 months.  The team has retained The Joe Bosack Graphic Design Company ( to design its primary and secondary logos along with new jersey designs and wordmarks.  Joe Bosack designed the Colorado Avalanche logo and a number of current ECHL team marks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

RIP Manitoba Moose 1996-2011

With the Jets moving back into town, the Manitoba Moose were given their walking papers. And although the franchise will be moving to Saint John's, they will most certainly not be called the Moose. The Moose have been my favorite team since I became a BIG minor league hockey fan back in 1996, so it will be a strange feeling next October when the AHL season starts, and there is no Moose.
I have been collecting Moose media guides since 1996, and also have the two Minnesota Moose guides as well, so I was little surprised when I realized that I had not purchased my copy of the 2010/11 media guide and the season was over. Once I realized that the Moose were done, I made sure to place my order online. Luckily for me, I managed to get my order in just weeks before the official Moose merchandise store closed its doors forever.
Happily they threw in a copy of the 2010-11 Year Book with my order, along with a package of Moose holiday gift tag labelz.
My one one big disappointment is that the final 2010/11 media guide is not a print book, but rather a CD-ROM, which may be great for quickly finding stats, but its not going to be much use in 10+ years when there is no such thing as a CD-ROM player!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What Killer Whales?

It looks like the answer to this issue of the Hockey News' front cover question is... um... YES!

It was great fun to see how quickly all the Canucks car flags disappeared after game 7. I have not been a Canucks fan for years (the Senators are my team), but I am always amazed at how lame the Canucks fans are. When Vancouver is doing well, every one jumps on board the fan wagon, but they are also just as quick to jump off when the team loses!

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins. And thanks Boston for saving me from having to listen to the fan wagon horn from blaring for days after game 7. And don't worry about the little riot we had. As it was pointed out, us Canadians are very polite and we all showed up the next day to clean up after ourselves.

Friday, February 25, 2011

2008 Champions DVD & Photo Book

Being a huge Chicago Wolves fan, I was thrilled when they won the 2008 AHL Calder Cup. The next season, the Wolves started selling the 2008 Champions DVD & Photo Book on their web site for $29.95. Ever since then, I have had the page on their online store bookmarked knowing that at some point I would be adding it to my collection. Recently, I saw that they had reduced the price to just $15. I quickly placed my order. The package contains a 36 page soft cover book featuring photos from the championship winning game and 2 DVDs. The first with the complete final game, and the second disc filled with bonus materials. I have already sat and watched the full game, and look forward the bonus disc when I get the chance.
If you have never seen a Wolves home game, you are missing something special. They have by far the best pre-game show of any team I have ever seen... and I have seen a ton of games (my minor league hockey game collection is well over 2500 games). If you are interested in seeing their pre-game, there are all kinds of clips on Youtube. Just search for Chicago Wolves intro and you will find a bunch to choose from. And check out the amazing photos on Wobbly85's Flickr photostream.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vancouver Giants AM Radio

Here is a pretty neat item I received for Christmas. It is an AM radio that receives only one station. Giants games are usually broadcast on 650 CISL, which is the logo that is plastered all over the back and sides of this small 'playing card deck' sized cardboard radio. The odd thing is that the station that it receives (at least here at home) is CBC radio, which does NOT broadcast the Giants games. I guess this is for those who prefer to listen to classical music while watching a hockey game. I myself, love listening to the play by play when I attend games, so I will have to remember to bring this with me next time I attend a Giants game to try it out.
It has a single earphone, so it is truly a mono radio, and it comes with a string attached so you can wear it around your neck like a lanyard.
It also has no way to open it up to replace the battery, so I guess this is a throw away radio much like those cheap throw away cameras you can buy. I wonder if it lasts longer than one game?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wranglers to Black Out Midnight Game

The Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL will host their eighth annual Midnight Holiday Roundup on Monday, December 27th when they face-off against the Utah Grizzlies.
The Wranglers holiday tradition began in the team’s inaugural season and has remained a fan favorite.  This year, the Wranglers have planned two special additions: a performance by Mini Kiss and an Orleans Arena Black Out.
“We are thrilled to bring back Mini Kiss,” said Wranglers President Billy Johnson. “They were a big hit when we had them here a few years ago and we can’t wait to have them back in the building this year.”
The Wranglers are also looking to make an impact with their Black Out of the Orleans Arena and $5 t-shirt promotion.
“We’re asking fans to help us by wearing black for the Midnight Game,” said Wranglers Vice President Matt Smith. “Be on the lookout for the $5 promotional t-shirts; they’re going to be a big hit!”
The Midnight Holiday Roundup on Monday, December 27th will begin at 11:59 pm and is sure to be the can’t-miss game of the season!  For information on discounted group tickets, contact the Wranglers front office at (702) 471-7825.

I have listened on line to the past 7 midnight madness games and can't wait for the game next week! Nothing like listening to a hockey game at 2 in the morning to make your family and friends think you're nuts!
Check out this great sound clip from the 3rd Annual Midnight Madness game for a chuckle.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coquitlam Express Home Opener

Last night I attended the Coquitlam Express home opener vs the Surrey Eagles. I visited the merch table but they was not much to be had a the home opener. They were selling copies of the Smart Hockey magazine with a game sheet stuffed into it for $2. Here is part of the story from that magazine about the Express: [As franchise relocations go, the Coquitlam Express didn't have to venture far or wide on their return journey home. The moving trucks only had a few turns to make and nobody had to bother packing a cooler or bagging a lunch.
But while the distance travelled from Burnaby's Bill Copeland Sports Centre to their newly renovated home on Poirier Street measures out at less than nine kilometres, the team's owners, staff and players are anticipating a lifestyle change that typically accompanies a much more drastic switch in scenery.
The Express spent their first four BCHL seasons in Coquitlam before construction surrounding their facility spurred the move to Burnaby in 2005. But the team never drew the crowds they had hoped for despite an RBC Cup winning season and the presence of high NHL draft pick Kyle Turris for two seasons.
Now, they return to a city that never wanted them to leave and a renovated sports complex that gives the team a first class home. The Coquitlam Sports Centre has been given a full face lift that included expanding the seating to a full bowl that accommodates 2,000 spectators.
The project, which was created through a partnership between the City, TASK Construction and CEI Architecture, employed a number of 'green' features including one that uses excess heat from the arena's refrigeration system to warm the nearby swimming pool and library.
"The end result is an ideal environment for BCHL hockey and a vibrant atmosphere for the Express," says CEI partner Mark Hentze. "The replacement of the existing seats and the addition of some interior finishes have really added a big league feel to the arena."
The calibre of the facility that awaited the team in Coquitlam made the decision to return an easier one for the Express's ownership team.
"We wanted to make things work in Burnaby, but from a business standpoint it wasn't able to continue," says part owner and general manager Darcy Rota. "I've known [Coquitlam] Mayor Richard Stewart for a long time and he made it a priority to have the team come home."
On the eve of their first season back in their original hometown, Rota has been impressed by the level of community and corporate support that has met the team's return since the official announcement was made on February 8th at a City Council meeting.
"There has been a real buzz in the community to have junior hockey back and we're looking forward to putting a winning product on the ice," the GM explains]
As far as the arena goes, they have done a great job of taking an tired old arena and making it look much more appealing. The biggest improvement is that the arena now has seating all the way around the rink. I was surprised to see a smallish crowd out to cheer on the home team at their home opener. It looked like there were about 60% empty seats, so that would mean that there were about 800 fans in attendance. If I were working with the team in sales/promotions, I would have looked at the presales a week or two before the game and then started making all kinds of deals - 2 for 1 ticket sales, kids under 12 for free, free tickets offered to local schools etc - all to ensure that the home opener was a complete sell out which would create a lot of buzz for the team and hopefully for future games. I arrived at the arena just 20 minutes before puck drop so I didn't get to see what they had for the pre opening festivities outside the arena, but was disappointed to see the prices for their barbecue, a cheese burgers cost $5.50. I would have liked to see some sort of deal for free food, or at least very cheap food supplied by a sponsor. Offering up $2 burgers would have gone a long way in making the event seem more exciting. As for the on ice pregame festivities, what we got was about 12 young girls waking pom poms as the players were announced on the ice. This was just about one of the lamest home openers I can remember attending.
It was a good game, and the home team won, but I have to say it didn't seem like the team management went out of their way to make this an unforgettable return to their home arena after so many years over in Burnaby. Lets hope the team does well this season and is able to make up for the off ice excitement with some on the ice!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Second Sked of the season

Today while I was out on my Comic book run, I stopped in to have a snack at Quizno's and there on the counter was a sked holder full of Surrey Eagles pocket schedules. I had to subvert my urge to take the whole sked holder full of skeds... I took 7 skeds and left the sked holder with two or three skeds left in it. I'll be sure to ask for a sked holder next time I make it out to an Eagles game.
The Surrey Eagles play in the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First Hockey sked of the season

While we were out today I spotted a sked holder full of 2010/2011 Langley Chiefs pocket schedules at an Arby's restaurant. This is the first hockey schedule I have seem this season. I guess this means its time to start sending out those sase's to all the teams again, and to start hitting all the local arenas looking for schedules.
The BCHL hockey season actually started already, but I didn't manage to make it to any of the home openers last week. I am hoping to make it to the Coquitlam Express home opener next weekend. The Express originally played in Coquitlam but moved to Burnaby when the Burnaby Bulldogs moved to Port Alberni. I guess the Express found the same lack of enthusiasm that forced the Bulldogs to leave town. And from what I have seen on the Express web site, it looks like they have done lots of work on the arena and the rest of the complex around it, so it should be a fun game to attend!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

UFV Cascades Logo

My wife picked up a pile of pocket schedules while she was out in the valley visiting her father. Among them was the University of the Fraser Valley athletics schedule which has one of the coolest logos I have seen in a long time. Its a menacing looking mountain with trees for teeth and ice for eyes. It kind of reminds me of one of my all time favorite logos the Prince George Spruce Kings which depicts an angry Christmas tree being chased by a saw blade - awesome!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ft Wayne Komets Back 2 Back Schedule Holder

The Ft Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League won the Turner Cup last season, making them back to back champs. Here is the 2009-10 pocket schedule holder which celebrates their Back 2 Back championships, along with the cover of their pocket sked.