The National Hockey league season has just started. The Central Hockey League has the stirrings of hockey with ice in Amarillo , player signings , and camps being announced . There will be no hockey in New Mexico. The Santa Ana Star center will sit life less.
There are many factors for the lack of crowds for the Scorpions games. Rio Rancho was just to far for most people on Albuquerque to drive for hockey. Management let season ticket holders down in so many ways. If general manager Gary Gelinas had been with the team longer they might have done much better. He was much more aware of the fans and how important they were to the team.
Scorpions owner Dave Ellett searched for an influx of cash to keep the team playing for the 2009-10 season. Having no luck the team went black for the 2nd time on 5 years. A sad end of a great hockey tradition in New Mexico.
The one good point in this story is the players of the New Mexico Scorpions. For the 3 years that there was hockey in Rio Rancho there were so many great guys that donned the Scorpions jersey, Andrew Smale : currently playing for Amarillo Gorillas , Shawn Skiehar , Matt Frick : currently playing in another league , Mike Pirpich : currently playing in Europe ,Vlady Hartinger , Rob Guinn , David Cacciola , Kyle McNulty , Scott Reid , Chris Robertson : currently playing in IHL Toledo , Craig Macdonald , and many others.
We had Aaron MacInnis : Al MacInnis nephew , Lyon Messier : son of Mark Messier , Ryan VandenBussche former NHL player.
The 2008-09 season was a real challenge for the players. They often went with out pay,had wild road trips with a driver who scared hardened veterans of bus trips , dealt with the bus breaking down & being wrecked.
They voted to play with out being payed. They could have let the fans down & walked out but they didn't. They always had heart. I am sure it was difficult to play at 100 % but they didn't walk away. I don't know how many people know this. I can tell you the fans loved the players for not giving up in 2008-09.
I personally hope Dave Ellett finds a new buyer for the team. I hope they have an arena in Albuquerque to play in , the fans in New Mexico love hockey and we will miss the cheers ,hanging with hockey friends ,fights and good times the hockey season brings with it.