EVANSVILLE, IN – As the “super serious, come on guys we mean it this time” deadline approaches for the City of Evansville and the IceMen to reach a lease agreement, I thought we should have a bit of fun. Neither side is saying much to me at this point and I’m not sure what I am getting is reliable.
Rather than lament the next 24 hours and wait for some press release I decided to take a look at some of my personal favorite rumors I’ve heard. These are in regards to what “will” happen with the City of Evansville visa-vie hockey. Last reminder, this is strictly rumor based, as there’s not a single researched fact to any of it. Quote me at your own peril.
Honorable Mention: The team is going dark next year but will be back the following year.
Basis: I do believe the owner Ron Geary actually mentioned this as an option. I know in my one conversation with Jim Riggs about the lease situation he said to me the team would go dark if no deal was reached.
Breakdown: This rumor is for the bipolar fan. You have to be pessimistic enough to believe no deal will be reached, yet optimistic enough to think the team would actually return from the dead.
Probability: Teams that chose to “go dark” with the intention of coming back the following season rarely survive. It has about the same odds as your New Year’s Resolution of getting fit gym membership still being used in October.
Number 3 Favorite Rumor: We’re getting a different team in a different league.
Basis: The City of Evansville now has a proven track record of supporting a hockey team. Sure attendance is down this year at the Ford Center but casual fans like to have a good time and see a team win. That hasn’t happened much at the Ford Center the last couple of years, at least the winning part.
Breakdown: With the SPHL and possibility of a USA Junior team floating around for Evansville, someone might make a go at bringing in another team. I think there’s a fan base that’s grown to love hockey in the market and leagues are always looking to expand.
Probability: This seems like a viable option for the future if this whole thing crashes around us. The Evansville Thunderbolts are a NA3HL team in town and the hockey fans of Evansville just celebrated the 1 in the 1 and 26 record just short of a parade. There has to be something to do in Evansville in the winter and I just don’t care about basketball.
Number 2 Favorite Rumor: Another team will be moved to Evansville to replace the current team
Basis: There are some viable candidates. Teams with struggling attendance around the league could see southern Indiana as a better option.
Breakdown: The most popular team being mentioned is the Kalamazoo Wings. Their average attendance is short of 2,000 per game this year. Also of note, the Wings are affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have history of affiliation with the City of Evansville.
Probability: This too feels like a viable option. If history teaches us anything, you can move a team and slap the same logo on them and most of the City won’t even notice. Remember the Muskegon Lumberjacks? How many Evansville fans even know at one point we moved the Lumberjacks to Evansville to replace our original team? (That my friends is old school)
Number 1 Favorite Rumor: The current IceMen are moving to Owensboro, KY
Basis: Cause…Why not?
Breakdown: I love this one, absolutely love it. Why do I like it so much? It makes no sense and is rooted in no logical argument. That is why I love hockey fans. It doesn’t have to make sense for it be plausible. You never heard of Owensboro, KY where you’re from? It’s the birth place of NASCAR’s Waltrip brothers. It’s about 45 minutes from Evansville, a smaller market. Good luck competing with basketball in the state of Kentucky in the winter.
Probability: This is SO far out there, it is probably what will happen.
What do you think? What’s the favorite rumor you’ve heard? Haven’t heard a good one yet? Make one up. Lets have fun as the doomsday clock inches toward the bewitching hour.