This is one post that makes me sad to write, mainly because of my internship with the Bruins. However, the blog must type on…
The Bruins joined the AAHL after finishing second in the Northern Junior Hockey League, joining five other teams in the All American Hockey League. Before the Bruins joined, Chi-Town left the league and that gave way to a franchise in West Michigan. With the Bruins entrance, the fans expected to see teams from Madison (Wisconsin), Battle Creek, Lapeer, Queen City (Cincinnati), and West Michigan. Before the season began, the Blizzard relocated from West Michigan to Dyer, Indiana and Madison moved to Wooster and re-branded as the Korn Kings.
Wooster lasted five games, with three away from Northeastern Ohio. Indiana lasted one half of the season. The Lapeer Loggers last one half before the AAHL takeover of the team. Now, the Bruins say goodbye to the league.
As you can see, the AAHL has been unstable this season. Two teams never played and relocated. The Lapeer Loggers are now being coached by the commissioner of the AAHL, Rod Davidson (according to Section 125; nice blog about minor league hockey leagues.)
The Bruins were one of the two teams that would be safe in the AAHL, with the other team being the Battle Creek Revolution (the league offices are located there.) What does the folding of the Bruins mean for the other teams, like the Queen City Storm and the Chi-Town Shooters? If you remember my last article about the Chi-Town Shooters, you would of remembered the Blizzard biting the dust. The Storm now are left with no true local rivalry without Troy, and now have trips to the heartland of Michigan and the Chicago area. These other three teams also have trips to Northern Cincinnati. There’s also been rumors that the Storm would fold before Troy’s stop in Sharonville. If Queen City does fold as well, what will that do to the AAHL? Surely leagues can’t survive with only three teams, with one far away.
The announcement on the Bruins web site has stated all players are now released and are free agents. I wonder what this means for the All-Star game (yes, it’s January 19th at Battle Creek) and the Bruins who would get in (results as of 12/27/10 are here.) Currently, the Bruins have players leading in all three categories. With the folding, I’m not sure if they’ll have a chance to play for their Upper Valley team.
Typing this post makes me sad, because I absolutely had a blast at my internship. I learned from the President of the team, who has had a decade of broadcast experience with the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Dayton Bombers. I remembered he added me on Facebook a long time ago when I joined a group about sportscasting. We stayed in touch, until I saw that the Bruins were coming to a career/internship fair at Wright State. In fact, that was the first booth I stopped by at the fair to drop my resume off. I had a solid interview, and sure enough got the internship.
I met a lot of great people at my time with the Bruins. I met some of the most nicest people in the Hobart Arena. While every game was pretty hectic, I can’t think of any better way to get experience in the professional world. It also felt like a family atmosphere, which is something you don’t see in everyday sports. It felt like every intern belonged to this family under the roof and over the ice.
I want to personally thank the family and the co-workers for giving me a chance. I think I improved on my hockey commentary as the season, and I did learn a lot from my boss. I always looked forward to traveling to the Hobart Arena and seeing the Bruins play.
I hope the Bruins will see the ice again. I know the Bruins will see the ice again.
Until next time,