(photo from flickr)
When it was announced that the Rivermen had been bought by the Vancouver Canucks, it was assumed that the team would be leaving town. However, now it looks they'll be sticking around.
It was announced yesterday that former Rivermen owner Bruce Saurs will buy the team and they'll play in the Southern Professional Hockey League, not the AHL.
"They've already designed the new jerseys, and they've got ‘Peoria Rivermen’ right on them,” Saurs says. “So we're going to play next year."
Saurs also plans to partner with Bart Rogers and John Butler who own the Bloomington Blaze hockey team. If they can switch to the Southern league it could set up a good riverly between the two teams.
Having the team owned locally can only mean good things for the community as well.
Peoria Civic Center GM Jim Weatherington:
"So that's going to be a plus,” Wetherington says. “The ticket prices are going to be less, so that's going to be a plus. It's going to be a little different mindset of hockey. It's going to be a little more fun."