Lots of stuff in our link roundup today …
- The Fuel’s home, the Fairgrounds Coliseum, is getting a new name. Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company has purchased the naming rights for 10 years and the Coliseum will now be known as the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The deal is worth $6 million.
- Two Fuel players called up to Rockford last week, defenseman Dillon Fournier and forward Jamie Wise, had points in their AHL debuts. Fournier had an assist and Wise a goal in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Wolves.
- This is a team we’ll see on Friday – the Florida Everblades. Their winger, Chris Kushneriuk, has an awesome story, having gone into remission from Stage IV testicular cancer. He tells his story and plays to raise awareness.
- With several new teams in the ECHL, there’s a lot of change coming in the league in the future. Commissioner Brian McKenna talks with the Quad City paper about the Mallards, the absorption of the seven CHL teams into the ECHL, and potential divisional realignment and scheduling changes (hint: McKenna said Indy will play the Quad City Mallards next year, and it’s likely that Brampton will be paired with one or both of Toledo and Elmira divisionally)
- The Bakersfield Condors accumulated 7,358 teddy bears at a game Monday night – all thrown onto the ice after the first goal. The promotion actually led off ESPN’s SportsCenter on Monday.
- The ECHL season has seen its first coaching change – the Gwinnett Gladiators fired coach Rick Emmett and replaced him with top assistant Andy Brandt on Tuesday.
- Rapid City, one of the ECHL’s new markets this year, is exploring an 18,000-seat arena.
- Good week for Ice alumni. First off, Scott Darling was recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (which affects the Fuel, as Mac Carruth is called back up to Rockford).
- Adam Erne was one of 30 players invited to the U.S. World Junior Championships training camp. Chris Peters, USA hockey guru, gives his thoughts on the roster (lots of familiar faces on it).
- Former Ice defenseman Vince Pedrie, now playing with the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder, was named the USHL’s Defensive Player of the Week. He had two goals and three assists last week.
- Also, former Ice netminder Jon Gillies was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for the 2nd time this season. Gillies had two shutouts.
- Former Ice player Nick Mattson is part of a North Dakota team that is now ranked No. 1 in the nation. UND is coached by former Indianapolis Ice player Dave Hakstol.