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Roanokehockey

Some Positive Press from the Roanoke Times

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Posted (edited)

Aaron McFarling wrote a nice column in today’s Roanoke Times on the Dawgs!

i remember him saying two years ago that the question on the Dawgs was sustainability. I guess they answered that question.

Roanoke Times

Edited by Roanokehockey
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I would have went to it if I knew anything about it.  I saw they posted something about it the day it was happening.  But for a Thursday thats a pretty nice crowd.  I've only been to a couple games this year.  Just not as exciting as watching hockey.

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100% I believe in the Dawgs. I was fortunate enough to move to the area a few months before opening night, and it’s been great to see the excitement in this town for the team. Believe it or not, a stark contrast to the apathy that surrounds the historic AHL franchise in my hometown.

Not only the Dawgs, butt the SPHL itself has proven to be a legitimate, sustainable league. I confess that I didn’t follow it a whole lot before moving here, but now I’ll defend it to anybody and think it’s laughable when the FHL is referred to as its equal on the hockey landscape. The SPHL’s product is closer to the E than it is to the Federal.

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Posted (edited)

I think the team and owners are doing a fantastic job overall and I hope the team is around for a long time to come. I try to be positive but the skeptic in me knows how things are in Roanoke and I worry that people will stop supporting the team even if management does things right and the team is successful. I love this team so much and do not want them to go anywhere!

 

Other than the Vipers what did other teams do that caused their decline? From what I understand, the Express charged too much and that caused people to stop attending games despite the team always having a winning record. So what other reasons cause Roanoke to have hockey for a few years and then go away for a few years?

Edited by Canucks13

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The Express ownership ousted John Gagnon and Pierre Paiemant when they invested in the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Gagnon was the money man and the remaining owners didn't have the deep pockets he did. Then after that, poor choices in the GM dept., which lead to unfulfilled promises made concerning nightly giveaways and such. Then mountains of unpaid bills finally lead to the demise. All in all just poor leadership and decision making.

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4 minutes ago, Onetimer said:

The Express ownership ousted John Gagnon and Pierre Paiemant when they invested in the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Gagnon was the money man and the remaining owners didn't have the deep pockets he did. Then after that, poor choices in the GM dept., which lead to unfulfilled promises made concerning nightly giveaways and such. Then mountains of unpaid bills finally lead to the demise. All in all just poor leadership and decision making.

That's what I thought. I don't think that would happen with the Dawgs but I am still cautious. I guess all the other hockey teams in Roanoke have given me a complex and abandonment issues.

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We also weren't winners.  We made the playoffs every year, but only one time did we ever make it past the second round.  Most years we were one and done. Like onetimer said after we lost gagnon and paiemont.  It went downhill.  Advertising went out the door, high ticket prices, and heard the Civic Center's lease was outrageous for the team.  We have a new person running it now.  Probably only reason we had a chance to get hockey back.

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Honestly I think it was a combination of a lot of different things. The ECHL was changing rapidly, and was kind of going the direction that the NHL and AHL were, you either had to be in a bigger market or an non-conventional one; the team wasn't able to go deep in the playoffs, bad ownership, tons of debt and unpaid bills, poor management at the Civic Center as well. Almost all of that has been corrected. Honestly it was only a matter of time after the ECHL absorbed all of the West Coast teams, that we were going to lose our team anyway. Roanoke more than definitely couldn't support an ECHL team nowadays. Not with 3000 fans per game. 

 

The one thing the Dawgs ownership team is doing that I think will create a lot of longevity for them is that they are changing the culture of the area to make us a hockey town again. They are doing SO much for youth hockey in the area to essentially keep a pipeline of fans for years to come. It also helps that 2 of our owners are active NHL players that come to the area to do hockey camps and whatnot. I was nervous at first, especially with how horrendous we were doing under Sam Ftorek, but they really couldn't be doing a better job running this thing honestly. I'm impressed. Maybe offer a few more promo nights during the year, but otherwise it's excellent. 

Edited by LeftySlammer92

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