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brianb0518

Charlotte Checkers AAA Hockey

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The River Rats? I love hockey. ph34r.gif But I don't think I could ever love a team called the "river rats" ...

Meanwhile, I wish Charlotte had the hurricanes. smile.gif That'd be so so so awesome! I wonder what the odds are that they'd ever move to Charlotte.

Anyway, very good news for Charlotte! I'm a huge hockey fan.

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The River Rats? I love hockey. ph34r.gif But I don't think I could ever love a team called the "river rats" ...

Meanwhile, I wish Charlotte had the hurricanes. smile.gif That'd be so so so awesome! I wonder what the odds are that they'd ever move to Charlotte.

Anyway, very good news for Charlotte! I'm a huge hockey fan.

Never say never, but highly unlikely the Hurricanes ever move to Charlotte.

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This should be pretty cool. I've never been to a hockey game before, but I hear they're lots of fun. I've been meaning to see the Checkers play, but never got around to it.

Interesting name for a Charlotte team considering we have all these bobcats and panthers roaming the area... ;)

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I'm thinking you may see a name change for the River Rats. Something that's more identifiable with Charlotte. Flight and Cougars come to mind. Though, if it's the Cougars they could easily find mascots around here... And I'm not talking about the 4 legged animals :thumbsup:

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Does this mean the Checkers are going to move ?

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^^ Zing!

I kinda wish/hope they would keep the Checkers brand. I mean, the modern team has been here since '93 (longer than the Panthers). The Checkers name has been around since the 60s.

Edited by tozmervo

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^^ Zing!

I kinda wish/hope they would keep the Checkers brand. I mean, the modern team has been here since '93 (longer than the Panthers). The Checkers name has been around since the 60s.

Yeah, it would make the most sense, especially since the buyer is the Michael Kahn, the Checkers owner. The marketing/press relase will probably going something like this: "Checkers move up to AHL affiliate of Hurricanes. See more NHL players in Charlotte, new league, better opponents!" The under the hood workings will be that the ECHL franchise will be sold and moved elsewhere, and the AHL team will be in TWC arena under the Checkers name. That's how the Greensboro Monarchs did it.

Edited by InitialD

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It is amazing to me how this seemingly came out of left field and is looking so solid so quickly.

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Though hockey isn't my #1 sport in terms of what I follow (though I do attend games here and there), this may certainly be welcome news for Charlotte. While by no means comparing Charlotte to a sportstown like Boston or Chicago (because you really can't), I'd say we would boast quite a nice pallet for the sportsfan. You have two major league teams in the Panthers and Bobcats, two top-tier minor league teams in the Knights and the AHL team, 3 NASCAR races and the annual PGA golf tournament at Quail Hollow. Also throw in the ACC Football Championship next year along with NCAA Men's bball tournament, not bad for a city Charlotte's size at all... actually pretty impressive. :thumbsup:

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^ Add to that 3 College basketball teams that are potentially March Madness teams (Davidson, UNCC, and Winthrop in Rock Hill) along with 49ers football in the next few years, the Mieneke Car Care Bowl, and the Z-Max dragway which seems to be one of the hottest if not the hottest venue in drag racing.

Edited by cltbwimob

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It is amazing to me how this seemingly came out of left field and is looking so solid so quickly.

This has been Kahn's goal since he bought the team, it's just never been stated publicly (for obvious reasons). FYI, he's a big Canes fan.

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On the topic of all the local sports, anybody know about the international soccer match that is supposed to be BofA Stadium as a warmup for the 2010 World Cup? Something like Mexico vs Peru or maybe Paraguay and Peru or something.

EDIT: Mexico vs Paraguay tentatively scheduled for March 24: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/1176449.html

I've heard a representative from Mexico was in town this week.

Edited by InitialD

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I'm a lifelong hockey fan and a former resident of the Glens Falls, NY area. It's interesting how things come full circle. I used to watch the Adirondack Red Wings (former AHL affiliate of the Wings) in the 80's and was crushed when the Albany River Rats went to Albany (Troy, first) and siphoned away enough fans from the Wings that the big club ended up moving Adirondack away. Now, Glens Falls has another AHL team (the Phantoms) and the Rats are moving here. We've been to quite a few Checkers games and while fun, the quality of the play is nowhere near that of the AHL. I've been hoping for an AHL affiliate for the Canes since they moved to NC from Hartford, so yesterday was a great day, for me. From everything said on the Canes message board, the name will remain the Charlotte Checkers, which is appropriate since that name is synonomous with Charlotte hockey and has been since way before the Checkers reformed here in 1993/94. Albany's loss is our gain. The Canes will now have a lock on this state, spreading the gospel of the Caniac from coast to mountains. It would be great if the Checkers could strike up a local broadcast deal. Double the hockey! Oh, happy day.

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We've been to quite a few Checkers games and while fun, the quality of the play is nowhere near that of the AHL.

I was at the Checkers game last night, and more than once I thought, "I hope they play better in the upper leagues." I mean, I would break my neck two steps out onto the ice, but even I can spot sloppy stick work. They came perilously close to loosing to Wheeling, WV in front of a "Race Night" crowd of nearly 11,500.

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I was at the Checkers game last night, and more than once I thought, "I hope they play better in the upper leagues." I mean, I would break my neck two steps out onto the ice, but even I can spot sloppy stick work. They came perilously close to loosing to Wheeling, WV in front of a "Race Night" crowd of nearly 11,500.

Oh, yeah, there's a big difference in quality of play. Only one or two players on an ECHL know they have a chance at making it to the NHL, while AHL players frequently move up and down more (and to European leagues).

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Hopefully this means that we can get a yearly canes preseason game in Charlotte as well.

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American Hockey League president Dave Andrews officially responded to the reports on the the River Rats/Albany/Charlotte story.

While he states there is only speculation at this point and that any news about he move is premature, I thought this one statement was pretty telling:

"There's no question the Carolina Hurricanes would like to be in Charlotte, said Andrews, "they've been pursuing this for over a year and I expect they'll be successful in doing that."

I also think the point about the Iowa franchise may be key in being able to keep an AHL team in Albany and the Canes having theirs in Charlotte::

"I think Albany is a good market with a good fan base, SMG (which manages the Times Union Center) certainly wants an AHL team there and Walter certainly wants an AHL team there," Andrews said. "But let's just let it play out, it could very well be that the franchise stays in Albany and an AHL affiliate stays in Albany."

Daniels is hopeful the AHL will feature a full complement of 30 teams next season, each affiliated with an NHL club. There are 29 AHL teams competing this season, with the former Iowa franchise dormant.

http://www.troyrecord.com/articles/2010/01/24/sports/doc4b5bd27e14dc3085810115.txt

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As a hardcore hockey fan, I can say this would be huge! And if they become an AHL franchise AND keep the Checkers name then attendence will really shoot up. For one they would be more likely to keep the faithful Checkers fans, plus add many traditional hockey fans who moved here who want to see NHL prospects of their respective teams.

Right now, I go to Checkers games every once in a while just because I like hockey. But its slow, frustrating to watch, and nowhere near as exciting as the NHL. But having an AHL affiliate in town would pull me in to LOTS of games. And I think many other transplants who are big into the NHL would say the same. You can expect the speed, hitting, fighting, scoring, and just quality of play to all pick up. These guys are fighting for a spot on an NHL roster, and many will go on to become solid NHLers.

Again, I think this would be huge for hockey in this town, not to mention, huge for the TWC arena as well.

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Carolina hurricanes has been pursuing a switch from Raleigh to Charlotte for over a year? That's not very long of a pursuit which tells me ideas/plans/thoughts are in the works. That gives me the most hope I've ever got of the Hurricanes moving to Charlotte

blush.gif

I personally think it'd never happen. smile.gif I'm ever so happy with minor league

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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^ I'm pretty sure that meant that the Canes want a presence, ie their AHL team, in Charlotte, not that the Canes themselves would move.

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I love hockey and have been a Caniac since day one, but they are better off in Raleigh where they don't have to fight other professional teams for the all-important corporate dollar. Raleigh and the Canes are like the way Charlotte was when the Hornets first arrived here. They've built a great, loyal following in that area, a following that will only be enhanced by the Rats move here. I'm sure there are quite a few fans like me who will be more intrigued by the Checkers going AHL and who will attend more games because of it. Right now, I'm considering at least a mini-ticket plan, an idea I wouldn't have entertained at this time, last year. The ECHL is fun, but the AHL is good hockey. We'll actually get to see the top draft picks from all the NHL teams learning the pro game. I'll never forget watching Bob Probert's first stint in Adirondack or Keith Primeau's or Chris Osgood's...the names go on and on.

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Has the Canes ever played home games outside of Raleigh? Like pre-season Bobcats going to Greensboro, etc?

I wonder if the affiliation will allow for this...

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Even though he says the sale isn't final and uses the "till the fat lady sings" reminder, Albany River Rats owner, Walter Robb seems almost resigned that the Rats are going to Charlotte when he says:

"Robb, while saying he did not know when his situation with the Rats would be settled, offered help if another AHL owner wants to move a team into the Times Union Center."I've made some offers of help to someone who wants to get in here," Robb said. "If they want me to be involved, I am still willing to be involved with an investor as a quiet partner."

As for his ownership of the River Rats, Robb, who is 81, said, "I can't keep going forever."

http://www.timesunio...?storyID=893063

Nothing really is final until it's final, but this seems pretty damn close to happening.

Edited to note that I just saw a related story that really sums up why the official announcement hasn't be made and when we can expect it (bolded emphasis is mine):

Albany River Rats owner Walter Robb, in his first comments since the story broke Friday about the sale of his club to a Charlotte, N.C., buyer, said today that “nothing is definite” concerning the team’s status for next year.

Robb, in a phone interview with the Times Union, said he would like to get things settled as soon as possible, but he doesn’t want to interfere with what has been happening on the ice with the River Rats.

“It’s a mixed blessing,” Robb said. “I’d like to have it settled as soon as possible. On the other hand, we have a season to play, on to the Calder Cup (playoffs). I don’t want to take any momentum away from a great season. I’d like to wait until June.”

http://blog.timesunion.com/hockey/robb-wary-of-distracting-from-rats-great-season/3695/

Edited by Urbanity

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