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Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

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Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby Old School Johnny » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:56 am

Seems like some folks want to roll the dice again...

I think it can work, though it's gonna have to be better managed than Andy Wilhelm's trainwreck(s)...
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby nevermore » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:23 am

Wasn't the Monsters where Mark Johnson got his start in coaching?

I like a good hockey fight as much as the next guy, but I recall from going a couple times that they really gooned it up in this league.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby Old School Johnny » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:19 am

Yep, Mark Johnson was the Monsters' coach during their inaugural season.

After he left for UW, he was replaced behind the bench by the legendary Dave "The Hammer" Schultz. Which was fitting cuz your memory is correct, the old Colonial/United Hockey League was indeed a gong show. But very entertaining.

In fact, one of the Monsters/Kodiaks problems was they simply were not tough enough. To survive in these bus leagues, both in the standings and at the gate, you have to be willing to "put on the foil."

The traditional powerhouses were always clubs like Quad City, Flint, and Muskegon, who were also usually atop the standings in team PIMs, and not coincidentally, attendance.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:21 am

What league will this team be a part of. Any chance of IHL? It would be cool to have cross state rivals like the Admirals. I was witness to a Milwaukee/Ft. Wayne game in Ft. Wayne several years back. It was quote the rivalry. Most fights I've ever seen in a hockey game. Very entertaining.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby nevermore » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:08 pm

The Quad Cities goons were the worst. If I recall correctly, one of them got arrested at a game for slashing a girl in the stands during a game.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby nevermore » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:12 pm

Old School Johnny wrote:the legendary Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.

His NHL PIM season record from 74-75 still stands.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby O.J. » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:19 pm

nevermore wrote:The Quad Cities goons were the worst. If I recall correctly, one of them got arrested at a game for slashing a girl in the stands during a game.


O.J. likes a good slashing. :evil:
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby Old School Johnny » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:26 pm

nevermore wrote:The Quad Cities goons were the worst. If I recall correctly, one of them got arrested at a game for slashing a girl in the stands during a game.


I don't remember that incident in particular, but it wouldn't surprise me at all. They were by far the worst.

Even their "fans" got in the act - just a few years ago, one guy got arrested for punching Flint General (and ex-Monster/Kodiak) Jim Duhart in the head as he walked to the dressing room between periods. And this was when Duhart was wearing a protective shield for a broken jaw.

And now QC has an AHL franchise. Classy!
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby jjoyce » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:42 pm

What's amazing to me is that nobody seems to acknowledge the biggest reason why the Mallards were able to make a go of it here when the other minor league teams were not: Payroll. Or, rather, lack of one.

The Mallards are college kids who CAN'T be paid. That substantially lowers the operating expenses of a team and allowed the Mallards to set a ticket price that Madisonians could safely risk on an unproven product. Marketing was word-of-mouth those first couple seasons and the Mallards have delivered with a unique ballpark atmosphere, good food/drink and promotions people like.

I don't think a team like this has any chance, and it's not just because they'll have to compete against the most successful college hockey program in the country. People are busy in the winter. They have kids playing sports and participating in stuff and/or they're doing the same themselves. Plus, as mentioned above, whereas the Mallards are solid family entertainment, minor league hockey is goonsville.

Around here, people learn about hockey watching the Badgers, who play a very clean, quick-moving international style. College hockey rules encourage this and make fighting pretty rare. Badger games are true events, with a lot going on downtown before and after. I can't see a team like this being able to benefit from any of that.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby Old School Johnny » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:15 pm

jjoyce wrote: Plus, as mentioned above, whereas the Mallards are solid family entertainment, minor league hockey is goonsville.


Which is not without its own built-in audience. As anyone who has ever attended a hockey game can tell you, no one goes to the concession stand when a fight breaks out. Crowds love 'em. And at the minor pro level, they live for them. As I previously noted, the most successful low-level hockey clubs tend to be the ones who provide the most "bang" for the buck. Call it goon hockey if you want, but it is a proven ticket-seller. The Monsters didn't fail because there were too many fights; they failed because they weren't properly promoted in an admittedly tough market for minor pro hockey.

That said, the selling points you bring up about the Mallards - the unique atmosphere, the food/drink specials, and quality promotions - are all things a sharp front office can work on. Things the Monsters/Kodiaks regime were sorely lacking. So I think there is potential.

But you're right in that the biggest obstacle will probably be operating expenses. The Mallards' lack of payroll is definitely a factor in the venture's success, and whatever venue this proposed team plays in (can it really be anywhere but the Dane County... er, Alliant Energy Center?) will most likely cost more than what the Mallards have to shell out for the "Duck Pond." It won't be cheap.

So, yeah, the reality is the team will be facing a tough sell. But not impossible. As a former Monsters season ticket holder, I remember there were nights that had big crowds and great energy. So it's possible to bring the people out. The old management just didn't know how to build on those (rare) successes. Maybe the new folks will have some fresher ideas.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby jjoyce » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:11 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but minor league hockey typically does well in towns where little/nothing else is going on. Not only do we have serious college basketball and hockey in this city, we have a very vibrant arts scene and an extremely active community for youth sports.

Pre-Mallards, people used to say "If Appleton/Beloit/Davenport can support a minor league baseball team, why can't we?"

Easy. There's nothing to do in those cities. They don't have Concerts on the Square or two lakes or an active softball league, etc., etc. Minor league ball is the only show in town, so people will drop $50 on parking, tickets, food, drink (and more drink) because they're not saving it up for anything else.

Will they here? For hockey? When you have to pay for parking?
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby supaunknown » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:19 pm

Realistically, I don't see it succeeding in Madison. Too many minuses and not enough plusses. I like the Coliseum for sporting events, and dug the Monsters and also the Mad Dogs there, but a hockey team simply costs a fortune to operate.

"I am personally placing a hundred-dollar bounty on the head of Tim McCracken. He's the head coach and chief punk on that Syracuse team."

Paul Newman was so great.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby nevermore » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:46 pm

Say "Hello" to the Madison Ice Muskies. They're bringing Pro Hockey to the No-Side.

http://www.madison.com/tct/sports/459821

Image

Pluses: Short distance for me to go. Reason to go to Slices before/afterward. Hartmeyer has a beer license if I'm not mistaken. Jerseys look cool.

Cons: A Chicago cop is the day-to-day operations manager and team president. There are no other teams in the league yet and the season starts in November.

http://www.icemuskies.com/
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby cyclona » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:51 am

Is it too late for me to start playing hockey? I'm 18 years old. I'm a big hockey fan and I know all the rules to hockey. I'm a pretty good skater. I'm just looking for any advice anyone has for me ohow to get started playing.
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Last edited by cyclona on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pro Hockey returning to Madison?

Postby nevermore » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:14 am

Just checked back in with the team's website. It appears they are now part of the All American Hockey League - a league of teams that mostly serve as IHL feeders (though Madison is an independent team). Here are the teams you get to hate this season:

Evansville (Indiana) IceMen
Chicago Blaze
Chi Town (I guess that's also Chicago) Shooters
Detroit Hitmen
Battle Creek Revolution

The season drops the puck on October 23rd with the Icemen at Hart(Attack!)meyer. For those wondering about the quality of goonery in this league, I give you these two bits of evidence:

A brawl between the Chi Town Shooters and the Evansville IceMen in January. The fans in Evansville sure love their hockey fights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1pAAe8rzCQ

And another brawl between the same two teams two days later (set to Drowning Pool - you've been warned). Watch the whole thing. I'm trying to decide what's better: The shirtless hockey player with the gut trying to get in on the action at the end of the on-ice action or the chick brawl in the stands at the end of the clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU6a1A_9NWo&feature=fvw

And cyclona, Ice Muskies tryouts are September 21-22. Forget your hockey and skating skills. Can you hit?
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