There Will Be Hockey In Peoria

image of Peoria Civic Center with a hockey rink.

News broke today that Peoria will get a hockey team to replace the AHL affiliated Rivermen. The team will still be named the Peoria Rivermen since the St. Louis Blues never trademarked the name during their term of affiliation with the team. This news comes after the Vancouver Canucks decided that they weren’t going to operate their team in the Peoria Civic Center.

The new Peoria Rivermen will be a part of the Southern Professional Hockey League. This was made possible by the support of Bruce Saurs, a former longtime owner of the Rivermen, and former Rivermen execs John Butler and Bart Rogers. Butler and Rogers both manage Bloomington’s US Cellular Coliseum where the Bloomington Blaze Hockey Club is housed. In addition to the Peoria Rivermen entering the SPHL, the Bloomington Blaze will also join the team in the same league. This will most likely generate a sense of rivalry, which would make it fun for the fans.

This has been a roller coaster ride for most hockey fans in Peoria, but there has been a light ignited at the end of the tunnel. There will be hockey in Peoria and this is the new era.

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