Daily Dish: RIP Texas Tornado, here come the Brahmas - Junior Hockey News
Published: Friday, 19 Jul 2013
The North American Hockey League is set to approve the sale and relocation of the Texas Tornado to the NYTEX Sports Center in the Fort Worth suburb of North Richland Hills. The name of the team will be changed to the Texas Brahmas, the same name used for the arena's former tenant from the Central Hockey League.
The Tornado joined the NAHL back in 1999 while initially be located at the same arena the team is moving back to. The Tornado captured five Robertson Cup championships while under the direction of head coach Tony Curtale. Eight different players have been able to move on from the Tornado to the National Hockey League.
The beginning of the end for the Tornado came in the form of the CHL's Allen Americans. The team owner Doug Miller offer to purchase the Tornado from the Schlegel Sports was rejected, forcing the CEO of EXCO Resources to focus his attention on the minor professional level of play. Meanwhile the Tornado went dark for a year while the Stars Center was being renovated. When the team returned attendance was a fraction of what it was (2004-05 Avg 3,709 per game) and the team never recovered with the Americans right up the road in Allen.
The league's full Board of Governors has to put their final stamp on the transaction and that should be little more than a formality. Ultimately this transaction becomes the final chapter of the league's most storied club.
Considering that the Tornado staff have been busy selling season tickets to gullible fans while management never had any intention of playing the 2013-2014 season at the Dr. Pepper Stars Center, I think it's rather ironic that somebody is quickly deleting Facebook inquires about getting refunds. In reality, the team should also be refunding the cost of the baloney try-out camps that were promoted with Curtlale's name and the hope of making the Tornado roster. I'm still trying to figure out if the gross deception was even legal.
Now that the Trazzera brothers have put up the cash, coaches around the south division must be extremely nervous about the immensely talented Dan Wildfong presence on the Brahmas' bench. Wildfong led the CHL Brahmas to six consecutive winning seasons, a league championship in 2008-2009, and a reputation as being one of the game's best coaches. The 37 year-old coach brings a lot of confidence and success to the division.
All joking aside, Wildfong is in for a rude awakening if he really believes that its going to be easy in the big south. Maybe the young coach should put a call into Paul Gillis and Brent Hughes before taking that thought process into the 2013-2014 season.
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