And the IHL remnants now number five again.
Two weeks or so after both Port Huron and Flint folded their cards, the IHL announced at its league meetings today that the Evansville Ice Men will field an IHL/CHL/Whatever This Is team next season. The Evansville deal was completed when IceMen owner Ron Geary finalized the transaction purchase and transfer of the Muskegon Lumberjack team to Evansville.
This is a deal that's been in the works for awhile -- it was initially thought it would come down at the end of last week -- and was contigent on the IceMen being allowed to play next season in tiny Swonder Ice Arena while a new arena was under construction.
"The chance to bring a storied team like Muskegon with its 50-year pro hockey history to Evansville was an opportunity that we could not pass up," said Geary said in the official release.
"This is great news for hockey fans in Evansville," said Dennis Hextall, IHL Commissioner. "Bringing the Muskegon history to Evansville creates instant credibility to the IceMen organization. This will not be an expansion team."
It is, actually, pretty much what happened here 20 years ago when David Welker took the original Komets east to Albany, N.Y., and the Frankes bought the rights to the Komets name and the defunct Flint Spirits franchise.