So, of course I'm following the ECHL finals and AHL conference playoffs (no sweeps this round, and curiously, two matchups that feature Montreal vs Dallas affiliates [Cincinnati vs Idaho, Hamilton vs Texas]). And doing a not-so-good job of following the other minor leagues (I do know the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL won their third consecutive Turner Cup. Congrats to them, but now I'm even more disappointed that Indiana is the only Midwestern/Great Lakes state I didn't see a hockey game in this season).
And yesterday I put in a brief appearance on The Rink Podcast (with my phone acting up a little) to talk Chicago Wolves and other mostly non-NHL stuff. This show is by @Tapeleg, of the blog Jerseys and Hockey Love, which I've followed for a while because it's by someone who likes hockey road trips and minor leagues. Other guests discuss Predators and Bruins.
Yesterday was also the day the Amarillo Gorillas ceased operations in the Central Hockey League. I heard via hockeyfights.com. They had been in the CHL since 2002, but Amarillo, TX has had minor league teams since 1996. (I've never seen teams in these leagues; I definitely want at least one trip to Southern hockey markets next season.) Quickly grabbed the shot above--by the way, does anyone archive websites of defunct sports teams?
In happier news, yesterday Oklahoma City announced the name, logo, and jersey designs for their new AHL team (and Edmonton Oilers affilate--formerly it was Springfield): the Oklahoma City Barons. The name wasn't a well-kept secret, though their were rumors of oths. I've kept up via @puckchk (a Blackhawks fan in OKC) on Twitter. Here's the team's new official Twitter. I got all these within an hour or so of the press conference:
Someone immediately went to the new Facebook page to express their unhappiness with the name; this is just...wow. (By the way, if you see the "People Like This"? I'm pretty sure FB didn't use to post full names when you'd click on a page without being signed in. One of the many annoying changes to the site; I'd prefer not to post strangers' full names here.)
Presumably OKC will be division rivals of the Chicago-area and Texas teams. Checking my Flickr stats yesterday, I noticed views from an OKC board, linking to one of my Wolves photos (I've really got to get more of my minor league shots up. And my NHL ones too!)
The Barons logo was not on theahl.com yet; here's their banner with the 29 teams that operated in the 2009-10 season. There'll be other changes (Charlotte, and I'm still not clear on the Albany/Lowell/Devils affiliate situation) before long.