Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bring Hockey Back To Roanoke - Facebook Page

I just came across this Facebook page - Bring Hockey Back To Roanoke
They also have a website at

As of today they have over 1700 fans signed up in support of bringing hockey back to Roanoke in the SPHL or ECHL. A demonstration of fan support certainly can't hurt a city's chances of landing a new team.

As someone who would love to see hockey in the old EHL arenas, I'm all for it. I'd love to be able to make the trip down I-81 to take in a Roanoke and Knoxville double header, where the Rebels and Knights used to play. Hopefully by next season that will be a possibility.

The Facebook page mentions Greensboro as a possibilty for next year - although from an EHL standpoint, their arena has been made over twice in major fashion, so there's nothing really left of the Eastern Hockey League era Greensboro Coliseum.

They also mention Charlotte as a possibilty to move up to the AHL for next year. This is confirmed by an array of articles that suggest that the Albany River Rats are being sold and moved to Charlotte to be closer to their parent Carolina Hurricanes. Here's the latest on that from the Albany Times Union:
This would become a very interesting Eastern Hockey League story if the AHL team came to Charlotte, and the Checkers stayed in the ECHL, but moved back to the old Cricket/Independence Arena where the EHL Checkers played. Yeah, I know, two teams in Charlotte, and they'd have to put the ice plant back in the Cricket. Hey, I can dream can't I?

The photo above is a shot from a UHL Roanoke Valley Vipers game in 2005 at the Roanoke Civic Center by Greensboro hockey fan and photographer Barry Root.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blue Birds Showed the Way for the Johnstown Jets

Here's a great story (as we've come to expect from Mike Mastovich of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat) about the Johnstown Blue Birds, the 1941-42 EAHL team that preceded and set the groundwork for the Johnstown Jets and the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. It all started with a hockey game between Pitt and Penn State, and a horse player form Baltimore...

Chiefs to honor hockey heritage
The Tribune-Democrat