Icemen Melt Away from Tri-State

The ice melted in Evansville well over a year ago.

The Evansville, then very briefly Owensboro, hockey story book came to a close Wednesday with an official move to Jacksonville, Florida.

That score 900 miles in the sunny south still stings some loyal supporters here in the old home of Icemen.

Two Tri-State cities came up short in landing the team while owner Ron Geary was trying to find a landing spot. Despite great memories, some fans are still bitter with the exit.

“It was good hockey,” says Kenny Rust who was a season ticket holder for 3 years. “Really enjoyed the games,” he says.

April Keyes, General Manager at Backstage Bar & Grill says “we would have loved to have them stay.”

Backstage was the destination for diehards on gameday. “They were doing well here so really wasn't a need for a move,” she says.

But if you ask Geary, who repeatedly said he never wanted to leave, says he was left with no choice and no contract to play in Ford Center when negotiations with the city ended.

He said it was too expensive to sign a new deal.

“It kind of went south kind of fast,” Jeff Lankford says, “a lot of the Evansville fans were disappointed when they left and how they left.”

The final hoorah for ECHL games in Ford Center left on the tip of Geary's finger. He was caught flipping the bird to a fan in the stands.

In his Evansville exit, Geary courted Owensboro, but pulled out of a deal with the aging SportsCenter.

And to the fans in Jacksonville, Rust has his doubts about the future of the franchise.

“Don’t expect them to stay around long, but if you get lucky you’ll have a good team.”

But Keyes looks on the bright side.

“As long as they give them a chance they'll have as much fun with them as we did.”
 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Home For The Holidays Page
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Tristate Professionals
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Pro Football Challenge
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Dr. Oz Wellness Network
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Calendar
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Video Center