The IceMen held another press conference at Swonder Ice Arena this afternoon, and the event was certainly not short on newsworthy items. Here’s a full recap:
Click here to watch over 20 minutes of video from the press conference!
• The organization unveiled its new logo, which is a variation of the logo the team has used for the past two seasons. (Click here to give it a look.) The same general concept of the old logo remains, and the “IceMen” font is the same as it has been since the team’s inception. The big difference is that the parka-wearing gentleman featured in the logo now has a torso and almost-comically “buff” arms. Also, instead of being centered in a circle, the logo now features a slanted oval. The “IceMen” wordmark is also slanted instead of horizontal. Overall, it’s a “fresh” look that doesn’t completely depart from the status quo. While I would’ve preferred to simply stick with what worked, I don’t hate it and I do appreciate that the organization maintained a visual connection to the team’s brief history.
• To go with the new logo is a full suite of new jerseys. (Click here to see 3 of the players showing off their new duds.) The white jersey (which will be worn at home before the All-Star break and on the road after it) is trimmed in sky blue and navy blue. The dark jersey (which will be worn at home after the All-Star break and on the road before it) is navy blue trimmed in sky blue and white. The organization also debuted a new “third jersey” that is sky blue trimmed in white and navy blue, very similar to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ original Winter Classic jersey. (The “third” will be worn for “special games” yet to be determined, both on the road and at home.) All 3 sweater styles include the in-vogue old-school collar laces at the front of the neck. Both “primary” jerseys feature the “eskimo head” logo on each shoulder; the “third” jersey does not. Black is still a background color in the new logo, but is not featured in any of the jerseys beyond that. I’m not crazy about essentially losing the black, but I do think the new sweaters look very good in general.
• In roster news, the IceMen officially announced the return of 2010-2011 Team MVP Brian Bicek. The announcement came to the surprise of no one, as Bicek has remained in Evansville this off-season and has been working at Ellis Park as a parimutuel clerk. Last season, “Bice” scored a team-best 27 goals with 61 points in 66 games, and posted a natural hat trick as Evansville’s lone representative in the CHL All-Star Game. He is the 4th forward signed for the upcoming season, joining newcomer Todd Robinson and fellow returnees Mark Cody and Matt Pierce. The team made Pierce’s re-signing official last week, and given how well he played down the stretch last season, “Elvis” Pierce’s return should not be overlooked.
• In addition, the blueline has been bolstered again. The IceMen have signed Quebec native Philippe Plante, a 12-year pro who played with “T-Rob” in Odessa last season. Plante is a product of the Montreal Canadiens’ farm system. He has over 700 pro games under his belt, including a few full seasons at the “Triple-A” level. He had 6 goals and 25 assists last season, after topping the 40-point mark the previous 4 seasons. Plante joins fellow Jackalope transplant Matt Gens on D for the IceMen, along with returnees Jordan Little and Jake Obermeyer, as well as veteran free agent acquisition Steve Makway. With 5 defensemen already signed, Coach Kromm is just one blueliner away from having his core set on D. Here’s hoping #6 will be Nick Schneider!
• On the air, the IceMen organization confirmed that AM-1400 WEOA will continue to serve as the team’s flagship radio station. “The Pump” has committed to airing all IceMen games LIVE (even on Sundays) this season, and a new online streaming service will be available when the station launches its new website in the fall. (Let’s cross our fingers and hope that the streaming service is more reliable than the one they used last year!) Also, WEOA will still air “IceMen Live” every Monday during the season, along with the “IceMen Hockey Update” news blurbs every weekday afternoon. Finally, the IceMen and WEOA are teasing a “new twist” that will be announced soon. What that might mean is anybody’s guess. Perhaps the addition of listener call-in availability during the Monday show and/or the post-game shows?
• What was NOT announced at the press conference was anything about the team having come to terms on a lease agreement for the New Downtown Arena. As a result, ticket prices are still to be determined. However, the organization has announced a “Select-A-Seat” event for prospective season-ticket holders. It will take place on July 23 from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Fairfield Inn on Evansville’s west side. Fans who wish to make arrangements then should contact the IceMen office at 812-421-GOAL (421-4625) in advance to set up a specific meeting time.
…and that’s all. We know you might not have been able to attend the press conference even if you wanted to, so now you know what you missed!