RIP Sea Wolves

2009 March 30
by Don Hammack

The only surprise in today’s announcement that the Mississippi Sea Wolves will suspend operations next year is that they’d made it this long. Don’t get me wrong, I love hockey and enjoyed my time covering the team. Heck, my dream job would be on an NHL beat (not that those jobs really exist in the financially challenged newspaper industry).

I was surprised that the club returned from Hurricane Katrina limbo to get back on the ice. The Sea Wolves attendance had continued a decline from the glory days of the early years. I have to admit that I didn’t go see them the past two years, so it would be fair to lay some of the blame on me for sitting on my wallet.

I really had a lot of fun covering the team for three seasons. I got on the beat for the 1998-99 season, and it turned into a long one. I never went back and counted how many games I covered in person that season, but it was a ton. Those were the days when every city on Interstate 10 had a team, so it was easy to get to a bunch of games. We traveled to all the games between Lafayette and Pensacola. The ECHL All-Star Game was in Biloxi in 1999, and the club wound up playing unbelievable hockey for about three-quarters of the regular season and all through a great postseason. It was really a special team, one that I think about a lot. I’ll probably write more about them in the next month, leading up to the 10th anniversary of winning the Kelly Cup.

And, for your multimedia entertainment, a good ole fashioned line brawl between the Sea Wolves and Jackson Bandits. For the record, it was an ugly fight, but no where near the worst I saw. Off the top of my head, a bench-emptying one in Mobile and one where a Louisiana IceGators player (Roger Maxwell, maybe?) came off the bench to deliver the mother of all cheap shots top it.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 March 30
    Kate permalink

    My favorite brawl was (I think) the first season against the Birmingham Bulls, a home game.

    One of the Bulls “tough guys” lost big-time to one of the smallest guys on the Wolves’ squad and word on press row was that he was in his locker room saying he’d never play again!

    The next day, Gabby was in his office, offering pizza to all the guys and watching replays of the fight.

    I enjoyed my time above the ice as well. Actually, I miss covering games — any games.

  2. 2009 March 31
    Mark Rupnow permalink

    Seawolves…….you will be sadly missed…….. thanks for all the great memories!! And thank you to all the amazing fans!!

  3. 2009 March 31
    Shawn frappier permalink

    Hi yall, yes sadly missed for sure… but, remember you the fans made this team what it was, and, what it will be in the future. Stay strong, and we (the former players) are always thinking about all of you. Stay strong. Frapps

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