A year ago to the day I was watching the Las Vegas Wranglers battling it out in the East Coast Hockey League.
An amazing success in a small market hockey town, the Wranglers have worn a path to that success with fantastic use of Social Media and Marketing, such as the Midnight Round-Up Matches, Theme Nights and Entertainment.
Earlier this year, two weeks before teams were to submit their submissions for the 2014-2015 Season, a bombshell was dropped.
Bally Corp the owners of The Orleans Arena, the Wranglers home rink, advised the Wranglers that they have decided not to renew the contract agreement.
In a two week scramble, Wranglers General Manager, Billy Johnson was a man busier than a one armed bricklayer in Baghdad.
Finding a rink in Vegas is not the easiest proposition however Johnson was relentless and successful in his quest.
There was an outpouring from the Wrangler faithful that reached worldwide, including Australia.
There is a strange parallel between the battles faced by the Wranglers to those of the Canberra Knights of the Australian Ice Hockey League.
The Canberra Knights officially pulled out of the AIHL due to varying factors however the players came together and wanted to take the team over.
There are many hurdles in place and all these hurdles need to be cleared by April the 12th when the AIHL season starts.
Hurdles like securing $50,000 to be financially viable, gaining the use of the rink and having a new name and identity.
A city like Canberra need ice hockey and the AIHL but more importantly, the AIHL need the Canberra Knights.
The amount of money raised in a few days is outstanding and it’s time for the AIHL to step up and do the right thing for Australian Hockey.
Keep the faith Canberra, it can be done, Billy Johnson is living proof.
The Knights need a new name….one could easily suggest the Canberra Wranglers.