How the Jacksonville IceMen plan to reestablish hockey culture down south
When I was 20 years old, I was like a lot of kids my age: free spirit with not a clue of what they wanted to do with their life.
So when I met a semi-pro hockey player, it was easy to pick up from the only town I’ve ever known, move around the country and create some spectacular stories from it.
Related: 9 Crazy stories from my days as a semi-pro hockey WAG
When I moved back home a few years later, I started this sports website but the hockey team we had had already folded.
Flash forward a few years and after becoming a regular in the Jacksonville sports media market, it was announced another hockey team would be coming to town.
It’s crazy how life comes full circle. So when Void Magazine approached me about doing a story for their annual Sports Issue, I jumped at the chance to highlight a sport that’s been close to my heart for years.
ABOUT THIS SHOW:
Jacksonville, Florida has been a home to the sport of hockey since 1964. And when a team from Evansville, Indiana was looking for a new home, Bob Ohrablo along with an ownership group in North Florida stepped in. Hear my interview with the team president on how to move a hockey team from Evansville, Indiana to Jacksonville, Florida that appears in the September Sports Issue of Void Magazine.
Jacksonville + hockey have a longer history than you think.
- The 1964 Rockets organization lasted nearly a decade before they were forced to cease operations.
- The Cleveland Barons moved their franchise to Jacksonville in 1973 but only lasted one full season.
- The inaugural Bullets organization formed in 1992, but was forced to fold in 1996. Why? Because another team known as the Lizard Kings (formally the Louisville Icehawks) moved to town before the start of the 1995 season. This marked the first and only time Jacksonville would be home to two professional hockey teams at once.
- The Jacksonville Barracudas are arguably the most successful hockey franchise in the city’s history; winning a WHA2 championship in just their second year back in 2002. The high wouldn’t last because the team eventually folded in 2008.
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