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Springfield Thunderbirds

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Springfield Thunderbirds
City Springfield, Massachusetts
League American Hockey League
Conference Eastern
Division Atlantic
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)
Franchise history
1975–1982 Erie Blades
1982–1993 Baltimore Skipjacks
1993–2016 Portland Pirates
2016–present Springfield Thunderbirds

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.[1][2]

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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] The team's new name was announced at a press conference on June 15, 2016.[6]

The market was previously home to:


External linksEdit

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).

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