Many changes in the AHL are easier to predict than others.
This definitely falls in the difficult tray, with a surprising turn of events from the affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fresh off winning their first Calder Cup in franchise history, the Lake Erie Monsters have become the Cleveland Monsters and shall compete in the 2016/17 season onwards under that new title.
In a presser held at Quicken Loans Arena, Monsters SVP/COO of Franchise Operations Mike Ostrowski said the change has been in the plans for some time.
“This brand refresh has been in the works for several seasons and we are thrilled to make the Cleveland Monsters a reality at long last,” Ostrowski said on the team’s website. “In the wake of the Monsters’ Calder Cup Championship and the Cavs’ NBA title, and heading into the Monsters’ 10th anniversary season, we feel now is the perfect time for our organization to honor our great city and proudly become in title what this team has always been in spirit, the Cleveland Monsters.”
This seems a little convenient however, and there’s little doubt that this timing is perfect, if any for such a change.
Sports have never had a higher profile or been better supported in Cleveland and fans are likely to take the alteration in better heart than otherwise may be the case.
It’s been a whirlwind year or so for what were the Lake Erie Monsters.
A change of affiliation, a Calder Cup Championship and now a name change.
It’s not the first time a Calder Cup Championship team has gone through a name change – in fact just 2015 was the last occasion, albeit under different circumstances.
Manchester Monarchs lifted the Calder Cup in 2015, but were soon competing under the name of Ontario Reign, after the Los Angeles organisation opted to switch their AHL and ECHL affiliates around.
The Cleveland Monsters will wear new jersey’s accordingly, sporting a white home jersey, black for the road and a yellow/gold alternate.