The Mississippi Sea Wolves have informed the ECHL that the team is suspending operations for the 2009-10 season, but one of the Sea Wolves' owners, Mike Rogers, said a move down the road could result in the team's return.
"We have other options that could arise in the next couple months," Rogers said.
Some of the possibilities include playing in another league, such as the Central Hockey League, or relocating to another city. Team president Bill Yates, however, said the team hasn't given up hope on playing hockey in the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
"We're doing anything and everything we can to keep playing on the Coast," Yates said, "and including playing in the ECHL next season."
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The Sea Wolves could reapply for "active status" next season in June, Rogers said, but ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said from a practical standpoint, it's a done deal.
"We have to put together a schedule for the 19 teams planning to play," McKenna said.
The Sea Wolves have played in 10 of the last 12 ECHL seasons at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, taking a two-year hiatus after Hurricane Katrina. The team has slim playoff hopes heading into tonight's road game against the Charlotte Checkers.
Rogers is hopeful something can be done to keep the Sea Wolves on the Coast.
"The best thing to say is this is not the death knell," he said.
The Sea Wolves and Dayton Bombers have suspended operations, accorded to the ECHL, while the Phoenix RoadRunners will cease operations after the current season. For more on this story see Tuesday's Sun Herald.