Minor League Notes, No Joke

I have a big JerseyWatch update coming tomorrow. Not posting it today for obvious reasons. No one would believe me. Instead, just a few minor minor league notes. First, a new logo was unveiled yesterday!

The AHL's Syracuse Crunch officially unveiled their new colors just a week after announcing a new affiliation agreement with the Anaheim Ducks. The Crunch's tweaked logo now matches their new parent club.

The revised logo features the club’s classic moniker depicting the face of an ice gorilla biting through a hockey stick with the word ‘CRUNCH’ emblazoned in ice block letters above him and showcases the new team colors of black, ice blue, metallic gold and burnt orange.

In addition, the Crunch will unveil a brand new uniform design that includes the new team colors in the upcoming weeks.

What the team doesn't mention in that release is the color in the gloves of the ice gorilla, which are neither metallic gold nor burnt orange. Looks to be some kind of brownish gray.

When the ECHL's Johnstown Chiefs franchise makes the move to Greenville, S.C. this summer, the team will allow fans to pick the new name.

Team owner and GM Neil Smith said the Chiefs name will be staying in Johnstown and a name-the-team contest will be held, according to the Greenville News. The newspaper also said "the horrendous moniker Grrrowl will not be back." We can all breathe easy now.

Greenville is hopeful that hockey will be a success again as it once was. After all, they've seen the Kelly Cup in that town. And everybody likes a winner.

Finally, Icethetics reader Chip pointed me toward Dan Krieger's Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report at OurSportsCentral. Krieger keeps tabs on all the goings-on with the often on-the-move minor league clubs. A couple of things stood out in his reports from the last couple of weeks.

With the Albany River Rats moving to Charlotte at the end of the season, it looks as if the Lowell Devils could replace them — returning the New Jersey Devils-owned affiliate to New York's capital city.

Krieger had the following in his report:

Now that the AHL's Portland Pirates have ended negotiations about a move to Albany (NY) for next season, Albany is reported to be negotiating with the Lowell (MA) Devils, the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils in the National Hockey League.

The Devils had their AHL affiliate in Albany operating as the River Rats for 13 seasons before moving it to Lowell and purchasing the Lock Monsters for the 2006-07 season. The Albany River Rats have been affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes since 2006, but Carolina is moving its AHL affiliate to Charlotte next season.

If that happens, the name would likely change to Albany Devils. However, I'm not sure if they'd bother changing the logo, despite the fairly obvious L it forms. We'll have to wait and see how it all pans out.

Krieger also reported that one group was attempting to bring back the ECHL's Charlotte Checkers franchise as the San Diego Gulls for the 2010-11 season. Evidently, those plans have fallen through.

The Checkers' name and logo will be appropriated to the AHL's River Rats when they move to Charlotte next season. That means the ECHL team will likely be disbanded this summer.

The Gulls played one season in the ECHL after it merged with the West Coast Hockey League.