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AHL to return to Worcester


Dilbert

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An open letter to the owners/management of the Worcester Sharks:

I have a couple of requests --

1. Please use the SJ Sharks original uniform format.

2. See Request #1.

Thank you.

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Having lived in a city that has lost a team or two, I always like to see a city get a team back that has lost one. It's too bad that this stuff even has to happen to the kids that live in those cities in the first place.

JeffB

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That's great for Worcester. The fans seemed very supportive of the IceCats, it was disappointing to see the team bail out for Peoria.

Of course, they may be missing their closest rival (Lowell) next season, since the owner of the Lock Monsters is selling the team.

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From AHL.com

Worcester Sharks coming this fall

The American Hockey League Board of Governors on Monday approved the relocation of the San Jose Sharks' AHL franchise from Cleveland to Worcester, Mass., beginning with the 2006-07 season.

Sharks Minor Holdings president Michael Lehr and San Jose Sharks president and CEO Greg Jamison made the announcement that the team has reached an agreement with the DCU Center to bring the Worcester Sharks to town next fall.

"Locating this franchise in Worcester has many benefits, including a closer proximity to other AHL clubs, more favorable travel issues, a wealth of hockey fans and a building better suited to our business model," said Lehr. "The success of our new franchise will be built on the partnership between the City of Worcester, the DCU Center and the Sharks."

The Worcester Sharks will utilize the same colors of the NHL franchise (deep Atlantic teal, gray, burnt orange and black) and the current logo (the world-famous menacing Shark chomping through a hockey stick).

"The American Hockey League is thrilled to be returning to Worcester in October of 2006," said AHL President and CEO David Andrews. "I would like to congratulate all of the parties who have worked so hard to launch a new era of professional hockey at the DCU Center, in particular the City Manager, Mayor and City Council, SMG, the San Jose Sharks organization, and especially the passionate hockey fans in Worcester."

The facility, which opened in 1982 and was renamed the DCU Center in October 2004 in a naming rights partnership with Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), will be outfitted with a curtaining system to create an more exciting and intimate venue with a 6,500 seat capacity for hockey. In addition, the City of Worcester has committed to ongoing improvements to enhance the hockey experience.

Over the past decade, drafting and developing talent has been the hallmark of the Sharks, who opened the 2005-06 NHL season with the league's highest percentage of players on their roster who were developed within the system (nearly 70%). Current Russian Olympic and NHL All-Star netminder Evgeni Nabokov spent three seasons developing with the Sharks affiliate, as did Jonathan Cheechoo, who is on track to lead the San Jose Sharks in scoring for a second consecutive campaign.

While based in San Jose, the parent club realizes the importance of New England hockey, as one-third of the club's player reserve list has New England ties. Current San Jose Sharks Niko Dimitrakos (Somerville, Mass.) and Jim Fahey (Milton, Mass.; Northeastern University) grew up in the area. Current AHL prospects Tom Cavanagh (Warwick, R.I.; Harvard), Josh Hennessy (Brockton, Mass.), Josh Prudden (Andover, Mass.; U. of New Hampshire), Patrick Rissmiller (Belmont, Mass.; Holy Cross) and Garrett Stafford (U. of New Hampshire) were raised or played collegiately in the area.

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Why bother creating a unique minor-league identity when you can just rip off the parent club?

Why bother trying to fill an arena when you can just put up a bunch of curtains to hide the empty seats?

Sigh. And double sigh.

Oh, and then there's the upcoming Cincinnati RailRaiders.

Triple sigh.

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Why bother trying to fill an arena when you can just put up a bunch of curtains to hide the empty seats?

Worcester is following Albany's lead with that one. The DCU Center seats somewhere between 12,000-14,000. By curtaining off the upper section, Worcester only has to sell 6,400 tickets. I'd bet that for big games & rivalries, or special ticket events, the upper deck would be opened. Minor league hockey in this region would average about 4,000 on a good day. Manchester is the only city in the area to average over 8,000.

It's not that big of a deal to close off the upper deck.

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Why bother creating a unique minor-league identity when you can just rip off the parent club?

Why bother trying to fill an arena when you can just put up a bunch of curtains to hide the empty seats?

Sigh. And double sigh.

Oh, and then there's the upcoming Cincinnati RailRaiders.

Triple sigh.

Remove that third sigh, at least the Rail Raiders came up with their own identity.

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The Worcester Sharks will utilize the same colors of the NHL franchise (deep Atlantic teal, gray, burnt orange and black) and the current logo (the world-famous menacing Shark chomping through a hockey stick).

Find me burnt orange in the SJ Sharks current set of colors?

Edit: Stupid me, the hockey sticks!

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Of course, they may be missing their closest rival (Lowell) next season, since the owner of the Lock Monsters is selling the team.

so do we know if lowell is moveing???

No, nothing is known about the future of the team right now. Plans for a franchise to move must be into the league by April 1.

Carolina's deadline for plans to keep the affiliation with the franchise must be in by March 15.

As of right now, the only public news is that the owner is selling the team. The city council is looking into options for keeping ownership of the team local.

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Why bother trying to fill an arena when you can just put up a bunch of curtains to hide the empty seats?

Worcester is following Albany's lead with that one. The DCU Center seats somewhere between 12,000-14,000. By curtaining off the upper section, Worcester only has to sell 6,400 tickets. I'd bet that for big games & rivalries, or special ticket events, the upper deck would be opened. Minor league hockey in this region would average about 4,000 on a good day. Manchester is the only city in the area to average over 8,000.

It's not that big of a deal to close off the upper deck.

Hamilton does the same at Copps Coliseum. Went there last Tuesday with my free Rebok tix. It was my first AHL game and I wasn't expecting much. It was nice to be in the arena where Gretzky and Lemiex made that awsome play in the '87 Canada Cup final, but was a crummy arena. Could have been cause it was a Tuesday night or the home team being in the basement, but the Bulldogs could only pull in 4000. OHL teams can do better than that.

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An open letter to the owners/management of the Worcester Sharks:

I have a couple of requests --

1. Please use the SJ Sharks original uniform format.

2. See Request #1.

Thank you.

I never like the idea of the minor leagues wearing the same uniform design and/or colors as their major league affiliates. They should be original like the Chicago Wolves (as compared to the Atlanta Thrashers).

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