Friday, 26 January 2007

New Team = New Affiliate

Hockey is coming back to Cleveland. Not NHL hockey, but AHL hockey. After the Barons left last year for Worcester, the city of Cleveland was left without hockey. But thanks to the efforts of the Cleveland Cavaliers ownership group, the Lake Erie Monsters will take to the ice next season. The Monsters will be the primary affiliate to the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, who currently share an affiliation to the Albany River Rats with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Monsters' primary team colors will be wine, blue, yellow and black. (wine - PMS 201C, yellow - PMS 130 and blue - PMS 647). The home jersey will be white with wine shoulders and black trim segments on the arm sleeves and will feature the secondary "M" logo, featured to the left, on the front. The road jersey will be wine with black and white trim segments on the arm sleeves. Both home and road jerseys will have the Monster from the primary logo on each shoulder. Player numbers will appear on each shoulder sleeve and on the back of each jersey. Since this appears to fit the new jersey design by Reebok, the jerseys may look quite normal, with the exception of the unsquare jersey hem on the bottom.

The team name was selected after an extensive amount of research was conducted with focus groups made up of casual fans, high level hockey fans, former Cleveland pro hockey season ticket holders, and others. In addition, considerable research explored names that would have a fun connection to the region. The Lake Erie Monsters was the top preference from the focus groups.

My only concern about the entire franchise is the appeal of hockey to Cleveland. This can't be a "make money now, not later" operation. It will take some time to cultivate the hockey culture back into Cleveland. I honestly wish the Monsters good luck in 2007-08. The 28th AHL team makes the league a little stronger.

I think that says enough. It's time for the city, county and state to step up and deliver an arena for the Penguins. Do it now. Make it happen. There is such a long-standing hockey tradition in Pittsburgh, and it would be a travesty to the game if the Penguins were allowed to leave. For all that is good in hockey, get a deal done for a new arena. With an exciting, young team with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fleury, and Whitney, the Stanley Cup may not be far away. And with another blue-chip prospect in Letang only a year or two away, the Penguins are poised to be a very competitive team for a long, long time.

Keep the Pens in the Burgh.

Ok, that's all for today. Keep your sticks on the ice!


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately it looks like it is a "make money now, not later" operation. Have you seen the prices for the seats? They definitely don't know anything about AHL hockey or how to build a fanbase in a city like this. This isn't Houston or Chicago, no matter how much they try to tell us that. People aren't going to pay $60 to sit at the glass nor they aren't going to pay $10 to sit in the back of the upper bowl nosebleeds in an NBA arena to watch minor league hockey. It's too bad Mr. Gilbert didn't listen to more people like this:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't possibly agree more about the 'burgh. I am getting worried because I see that our PA governor, Ed Rendell, has his PR machine dropping hints of the fault being with the Penguins. This is his usual reaction when he thinks something might go bad - find someone else for the press to blame before it does. I, of course, am reduced to praying with my black, gold, and white rosary daily and obsessively checking the Post-Gazette website.