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New Years Wish Comes True!

From: riverrat  
Date: 11-Jan-06

Hmmmm.....some changes ahead in the AHL.

A rookie Albany RiverRat's first cousin lives, oh 20 miles away.(Their coach resides in Bedford).  The Devils are thinking about leaving Albany for a site near the Jersey Shore.  Naturally, travel this year has been a lot easier - it's easier to go to Portland than Norfolk or Grand Rapids.

Should Lowell leave, then things get interesting - it won't affect Worcester, as you'll have Providence and Manchester. Bridgeport and Hartford aren't also too far away.  I don't know whether the market is large enough for both Lowell and Worcester, given that Manchester is a very healthy franchise.

Any thoughts?

 


From: karlkat   karlkat is a registered live IceCat
Date: 09-Jan-06
Thanks LTLM!

From: Louie the Lock-Monster  
Date: 09-Jan-06

Wow   they got the website up already

http://www.sharksahl.com/

 


From: dave_icecatsfan  
Date: 09-Jan-06

Well I feel weird. After the Icecats left there was nothing to stop me from supporting the Lowell Lockmonsters which were right next door to where I live, and now the Monsters are most likely going to be gone next year. Maybe I'm destined to watch hockey in Worcester only lol. 

I just hope the team is still called the Icecats and not some stupid fish or shark name. At least SJ's match Worcesters!


From: Louie the Lock- Monster  
Date: 09-Jan-06
WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!!

From: 210   210 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 06-Jan-06
"Hockeydork"....that has got to be one of the top nicknames ever used on this board. I love it ;^)

From: tjo668   tjo668 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 05-Jan-06
Torrie and Hockeydork, thanks for stopping by. Best of luck in Clevelands next AHL or pro hockey adventure. You were very kind to extend the invitation and provide info on the community. Please understand that it goes both ways. Regardlesss of each city's status in hockey next year, feel free to drop us a line if you're heading out this way. 

From: Big Mike  
Date: 05-Jan-06
"It's all about the money"? We found that out a year ago, dude. :-) Thank you for the info, Torrie. I hope it doesn't get you in hot water at work.

From: Torrie  
Date: 05-Jan-06
Sorry Speed but I want to keep everything anonymous.  That's why I didn't list my e-mail address.  My bosses at the Q might not like me talking shop in this forum.  The Barons have been playing dead in Cleveland since they came to town.  Their lease included no revenue from parking or concessions.  It was strictly a Gund-Gund courtesy that the team came here at all.  With the Gunds almost completely out of the picture in both San Jose and Cleveland there was very little interest (by Gilbert or the Sharks) in keeping the team in place.  Promotions were limited, staffing of club personel was minimal.  No TV/Radio after their first year.  "Zambunnies" dance team disbanded due to expense.  Competing with the resurgent Cavaliers with LeBron James even had them posting "LeBarons' billboards around town two years ago.  Now they can't even afford that.  Season ticket holders number in the hundreds.  I think Gilbert will see Arena Football as a more profitable option in Cleveland.  Team has never been great but many individual players have shown what they're made of and are quickly called up to San Jose: Cheechoo, Davison, Dimitrakos, Ehrhoff, Fahey,  and Goc were all prominent Barons.  President Mike Lehr is a total Shark lackey as he should be.  If you support them they will stay, if you don't they will bolt. Remember, it's all about the money.

From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 05-Jan-06
Torrie could you please email me at worcestericecat@aol.com? I have a few questions for you about your experience with SJ and the Barons and I'd rather keep it off the messageboard. I'd also like to share with you our experience with our effort in getting another AHL team.

From: SataiStyx   SataiStyx is a registered live IceCat
Date: 05-Jan-06

Nicole,

It should also be noted that the owners of the St. Louis Blues also put the Blues and the Saavis Center up for sale.  This, to me, indicates they want out of owning sports franchises.

I am very sorry that Cleveland is losing their team.  Beleive me, all of us fans here in Worcester know what you guys are going through, having just went through it.  All my sympathetic words will not ease the pain.  There is hope though - there are at least two AHL franchises out there for sale, Utah and Lowell.

Judi


From: 210   210 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 04-Jan-06
The Blues used to own the IceCats and they sold the team to the owners of the ECHL's Peoria Rivermen. The ECHL Rivermen folded and the AHL Rivermen took their place.

From: Torrie  
Date: 04-Jan-06

I work at the Quicken Loans Arena and this move out of Cleveland was destined ever since George Gund sold his majority position with the Sharks.  With brother Gordon Gund owning the Cavaliers the Barons' 5-year lease was another way for the Gund Brothers to make some dough off the San Jose Sharks which they founded.  With the unfavorable lease and Gordon Gund selling the Cavaliers to Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans last year, there was no chance of the team remaining in Cleveland.  After the lockout, NHL teams need AHL franchises to either make money or at least break even.

If you want to come to Cleveland and see your team for next year, feel free to come and check them out.  Don't worry: you can't hurt our feelings. Barons information is available at www.clevelandbarons.net.  The  Radisson Hotel Cleveland - Gateway www.radisson.com/clevelandoh_gateway is just across the street from the Quicken Loans Arena and many visiting AHL teams stay there. There are many nightclubs within walking distance including the House of Blues Cleveland www.hob.com/venues/clubvenues/cleveland, Pickwick and Frolic www.pickwickandfrolic.com. An additional tourist must-see in Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame www.rockhall.com which is open year round.


From: hockeydork17   hockeydork17 is a registered IceCat
Date: 03-Jan-06

I have just a quick question, I found this site because we are "losing" our team in Cleveland and I guess that your city is more than likely going to get them.  Anyway, my question is why in the first place did you lose your team for the 05-06 season?  Did it just have to do with them moving to Peoria?

Thanks


From: RoadRunner75  
Date: 03-Jan-06
Glad to see this is looking like it will happen for all of you... I know very well first hand how hard it is to lose a beloved team. While I feel sympathy and their pain in Cleveland I am also very happy for all of you down there. Embrace and support the new team and hopefully if the sched works out will see you guys vs Hamilton ( my newly supported team ) next season! Am pullin for you all! RR75 formerly of the Toronto Roadrunners and Runners Roadstead fan site

From: PBRUINSFN  
Date: 02-Jan-06
WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!....May the 146 rivalry continue!

From: Big Mike  
Date: 02-Jan-06
This is unfortunate for Cleveland sports fans, obviously. Even worse is that the Cleveland Force indoor soccer team went out of business only a few months ago. Cleveland still has the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers, but those tickets are hard to come by and a bit expensive for some fans.

From: Kazama  
Date: 02-Jan-06
I'd like to see the new team use the Icecats name and logo.

From: 210   210 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 02-Jan-06

This thread is linked on a couple of Barons forums...

When the Rivermen bought and moved the IceCats MOST Rivs fans were very classy about it.

I hope we can say this about ALL Worcester hockey fans when this is all over.


From: Pierce   Pierce is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06
Great news ..... thanks to all involved a great job

From: icecat23   icecat23 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06
YES!!!!!!!thanks everyone that helped and pledged!!! GREAT JOB!!!

From: KingIceCat   KingIceCat is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06
Wow! Im up in NH (Monarch country -boooo) and what a way to wake up to news! Congrats all - the people can make a difference!

From: BC CHRIS20   BC CHRIS20 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06

Wow!!!!!!

 what a New Years gift

I also want to thank everyone that has been involved in getting a team back to Worcester


From: humvee  
Date: 01-Jan-06

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!!!!!!!!!!1


From: tjo668   tjo668 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06

Okay, it's not official, but it looks very similar to the article in the Peoria paper last year. That memory brought back to life , I'd like to make one point- think about how bad it felt last year....

If this is announced, keep in mind that it's an existing team with fans who feel the same way we did last year. Tread lightly, and avoid anything that looks like dancing on someones grave for the rest of this year. Avoid any temptation to visit a friend or relative in Cleveland for the sake of going to see "next years team." You wouldn't have wanted people form Peoria here last year doing the same. Just be classy.  


From: 128A  
Date: 01-Jan-06

I bet season tickets will start selling now, what a great New Year this will be Hockeys Back in 2006 !!! Can't wait for the puck to drop...


From: Thrasher19   Thrasher19 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06
Just want to say congrats! Thank you to all the volunteers who made this possible along with the DCU staff and the city of Worcester. What a way to start a new year!

From: 210   210 is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06
Does this mean I can finally get some sleep?

From: Speed   Speed is a registered live IceCat
Date: 01-Jan-06
Sunday, January 1, 2006 Worcester hooks an AHL Shark Cleveland’s loss will be our gain By Bill Ballou TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF wballou@telegram.com WORCESTER— The fishing expedition that started last hockey season when the Worcester IceCats announced that they were leaving town has landed a Shark. The San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League will move its American Hockey League affiliate, the Cleveland Barons, from that city to the DCU Center when this AHL season ends, sources say. An official announcement is expected to come early this month. One possible date to introduce the city’s new team would be on or around Jan. 10 when the Sharks play the Bruins in Boston. No one from Sharks’ hockey management could be reached for comment on the move. Scott Emmert, media relations director for the Sharks, confirmed that Worcester City Manager Michael V. O’Brien was in San Jose last week to confer with Sharks officials and added that he was aware that talks had been ongoing between the NHL team and Worcester representatives. There is no initial word on what the team might be named. It won’t be the Barons, which has a long association with hockey in Cleveland. Unofficial indications are that the nickname will be related to the Sharks in some fashion, as opposed to being the IceCats. Management of the new AHL team is expected to begin setting up shop in Worcester almost immediately. San Jose owns the Cleveland franchise, which was originally the Kentucky Thoroughblades. The Thoroughblades, playing in gigantic Rupp Arena in Lexington, did very well on the ice, but it had a hard time at the box office and left Kentucky for Cleveland after the 2000-01 season. The original Cleveland Barons were a charter member of the American Hockey League and still hold the AHL record for most Calder Cups won. The Barons did well until the World Hockey Association was formed in 1972-73. The WHA put a team, the Crusaders, in Cleveland and by the middle of the 1972-73 season the Barons were forced to move to Jacksonville. The second edition of the Barons has no connection with the original one. While Cleveland was considered to be one of the best minor-league hockey cities around up until the WHA was formed, it has been a graveyard for the sport since then. Even an NHL team, also named the Barons, couldn’t make it there. The current Barons play in Quicken Loans Arena, formerly the Gund Center, in downtown Cleveland, next to Jacobs Field. It has been near the bottom of AHL attendance standings since its inception. On the ice, the team has struggled a bit also. The Barons have made the playoffs just once in the last four years and are on a pace to miss them again this season. The Sharks’ approach to putting together a team in Cleveland has been development-oriented as opposed to signing high-salaried free agents. At the NHL level, the San Jose organization is considered to be one of the best-managed in the sport. The Sharks were convinced to try Worcester in large part because of a concerted effort by city officials and DCU Center management. The building came up with a leasing arrangement that lowers a team’s costs and gives it a chance to increase revenues. A season ticket drive that had a goal of 3,000 is ongoing, but it will fail to reach that level. At last count, about 1,500 pledges had been made. Organizers hope that the announcement of the identity of the new Worcester team will spur more interest. That announcement should be a matter of days away.

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