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Going Back to the Natti: Panthers With Cincinnati Cyclones (Again)

WkrpThe Panthers have a new ECHL affiliate, and surprise, surprise, it's the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Assistant GM Mike Santos has worked closely with the Cyclones the past few years when he was with the Predators. The Cyclones have won two of the past three Kelly Cups (the ECHL championship) including last year.

The Panthers, one might recall, were affiliated with the old Cyclones of the IHL back in the franchise's  early years.

The Panthers joined forces with the IHL Cyclones in May of 1993 -- six months before the Cats played their first game.

And according to Wikipedia, this current Cincinnati franchise was, for one year, known as the Miami Matadors.

Matadors The Matadors played most of their one season at Miami Arena, taking over when the Panthers moved to Sunrise.

It's the Circle of Life kids.


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Santos going with Cyclones was kind of expected.

I remember when they put that team in Miami and thinking then that was stupid, people only went to Miami Arena to watch Panthers. It was lined up with police when you parked your car. The locals around the arena were never going to watch a minor league team and no one from Broward would drive there for the Matadors.

George, wasn't there also a team called the Hammerheads?

You might be thinking of the Miami Manatees who also played at The Arena...they didn't last long either...I do remember going to a Tallahassee TigerSharks game once when I was up there for the state football playoffs...

Always had fun at Solar Bears games...talked to JM about putting a team back in Orlando and he was against it because of the travel restrictions...that team would be real far away from the rest of the AHL, although it's easy to fly in and out of Orlando...

I Googled Hammerheads and found : "The Hammerheads, part of the fledgling Roller Hockey International league, will play their first home game at 3 p.m. at Miami Arena.


I don't recall them being a roller hockey team but apparently they were.

With Carolina moving their AHL team into the Carolinas, if Panthers, Thrashers and Lightning all moved their AHL teams south it would ease the travel. The advantage of being closer to the AHL team is being able to use guys for emergencey call-ups. The problem with the AHL is it is too spread out across the continent. Abbotsford is way too far off the path.

Yeah but nobody is paying to see an NHL team in florida....why would they go see an AHL one...??
This is not a jab @ the cats... Im a die hard fan and would love nothing more than to see them close to their AHL affiliate but let's be realistic

The Solar Bears had some of the top minor league attendance in all of hockey, any league, during their existence. When the IHL merged with the AHL, the Solar Bears owner owned three teams, Detroit, Kansas City, and Orlando, and was only allowed one in the merger. So he went with Detroit. End Solar Bears.

And the Lightning have moved their affiliation south. They now affiliate with the Norfolk Admirals in the A, after being in Springfield Mass. Atlanta won't abandon Chicago, as its been one of the better affiliates in the league the past decade. And Washington has Hershey, a short trip up the road.

Rochester is a good affiliate for Florida, as long as they stock it with some winning talent, as its close to a lot of the other non southeast teams.

Matt- The Florida Everblades have one of the best attendences in the ECHL and draw better than most AHL arenas.

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