воскресенье, 16 сентября 2012 г.

FORMER ECHL ADMIRALS WILL SET UP SHOP IN COLUMBUS, GA.(SPORTS) - The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)

Byline: TRIS WYKES THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

The ECHL franchise formerly known as the Hampton Roads Admirals has been approved for sale to a group in Columbus, Ga., and will operate for the upcoming season.

According to the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat and the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, the ECHL's Board of Governors on Thursday approved the dormant franchise's sale by former majority owner Mark Garcea to the husband-and-wife tandem of Shelby and Wanda Amos.

The couple previously owned the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Central Hockey League but their five-year sanctioning agreement with the CHL recently expired.

As part of widespread upheaval across minor league hockey, the Cottonmouths and the Macon (Ga.) Whoopee have jumped to the ECHL. The Whoopee has purchased the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks and will operate that franchise in Macon next season. Had Macon and Columbus remained in the CHL, they would have been nearly 400 miles from their closest league rivals.

Garcea, who mothballed his ECHL franchise after the 1999-2000 season to make way for his AHL expansion team, the Norfolk Admirals, did not respond to interview requests.

The Hampton Roads franchise was first slated to relocate to Atlantic City, N.J., for the 2001-02 season, but Garcea backed out of the deal in February.

Shortly thereafter, Garcea announced a plan to lease the franchise to a group in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In recent weeks, it was rumored the dormant team would be sold to an owner in Fayetteville, N.C., a city that will apparently be without pro hockey for the upcoming season.