|League:||American Hockey League|
|Founded:||1975 (In the NAHL)|
|Home Arena:||MassMutual Center|
|Colors:|| Navy blue, sky blue, red, gold, white|
|Owner(s):||Springfield Hockey, LLC.|
|General Manager:||Eric Joyce|
|Head Coach:||Geordie Kinnear|
|Media:|| The Springfield Republican|
|Affiliates:||Florida Panthers (NHL)|
The Springfield Thunderbirds are a minor professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League set to begin play for the 2016–17 season as the affiliate of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers. Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Thunderbirds will play their home games at the MassMutual Center.
In May, 2016, following the relocation of the Springfield Falcons to Tucson, Arizona, after the team was sold to the Arizona Coyotes, the AHL's Portland Pirates were sold to a group of outside buyers to relocate the franchise to Springfield for the 2016–17 season.
The new ownership was comprised of local business interests seeking to keep hockey in Springfield, and included Paul Picknelly, president of Monarch Place — Springfield's tallest skyscraper — and member of the family owning Peter Pan Bus Lines, as well as several local hotel owners.
The Florida Panthers renewed its affiliation with the relocated franchise. The Panthers assigned their assistant general manger, Eric Joyce, to be Springfield's general manager and named Geordie Kinnear as the new head coach. The Thunderbirds also named Bruce Landon, the Falcons' and Indians' longtime president and general manager, as a consultant, while hiring AHL executive Nathan Costa as their executive vice-president in charge of business operations. The team's new name was announced at a press conference on June 15, 2016.
The market was previously home to:
- ↑ Portland Pirates to leave Maine and move to Springfield, MA (en-US). Retrieved on 4 May 2016.
- ↑ American Hockey League Announces Franchise Transaction. OurSports Central (May 23, 2016).
- ↑ The investors of Springfield's new hockey team revealed. Western Mass News (June 5, 2016).
- ↑ Kinnear named coach of Florida’s AHL affiliate. AHL (June 7, 2016).
- ↑ Pignatello, Jim. "Springfield AHL team names city native Nathan Costa as Executive VP; Bruce Landon to serve as consultant", June 8, 2016.
- ↑ Pignatiello, Jim (June 15, 2016). Springfield Thunderbirds announced as name, mascot of city's AHL franchise. MassLive.com. Retrieved on June 15, 2016.
|The Franchise||Franchise • Expansion Draft • Players • GMs • Head Coaches • Seasons • Records • Draft Picks|
|Arenas||Miami Arena • BankAtlantic Center|
|Owners||Alan Cohen and Bernie Kosar|
|Coaches||Neilson • MacLean • B. Murray • T. Murray • Sutter • Keenan • Dudley • Torchetti • Martin • DeBoer|
|Stanley Cup Finals Appearance||1996|
|Affiliates||Rochester Americans (AHL) • Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL)|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Springfield Thunderbirds. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|