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Daily Dish:Tony Curtale's Tornado Turmoil Junior Hockey News

Published: Wednesday, 29 May 2013  
By: Stephen Heisler,

It appears that the ownership of the North American Hockey League's Texas Tornado is entertaining all interested parties that would like to take over the team.

With the Central Hockey League seemingly is the midst of a massive flux, the professional Ft. Worth Brahmas are done and the NYTEX Sports Center is in full pursuit of the Tornado franchise. The team would relocate to Ft Worth to become the Brahmas.

NYTEX principle Salvatore Trazzera was unavailable for comment but we did learn that the deal does not include the Tornado staff or coaches, Salvatore would retain the staff of the Central Hockey League's Brahmas, including head coach/general manager Dan Wildfong.

What about Tony Curtale and his staff? All posturing and bickering aside, Curtale is the NAHL. I can only imagine that his availability will be extremely short lived. Think about it, how many other guys out there can claim Curtale's level of success? If this league is around after Curtale kicks the bucket, look for a rebranding of the Robertson Cup to the Curtale Trophy.

What team would be the front runner to get Curtale?

The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees would have liked to bring Head Coach Bliss Littler to South Texas but new Wenatchee Wild owner David White presented an offer that makes it very difficult for Littler to pass up.  Littler staying in Washington would quickly moves Curtale into the driver's seat for the head coach / general manager job in South Texas.

Both Curtale and Littler will have to hit the ground running if they hope to be competitive in 2013-2014. Curtale would get all of the Robertson Cup finalist's returning players while Littler will have to build the Wenatchee Wild 2.0 from the ground up.

Littler would essentially get a pass for 2013-2014, ownership and supporters are well aware of the disadvantages going in, but Littler is a winner that knows how to get the most out if what he is given. Littler's connections will also be a tremendous asset to the well-respected coach, making Wenatchee the immediate first option for many players coming down from major junior, collegiate hockey, or the United States Hockey League.

Curtale is also very well connected but will be expected to put a winning product on the ice from day one. Winning, that's certainly something Curtale knows how to do. Having Curtale steering the Killer Bees will also be a goldmine for fellow south division rivals. Let's face it, he is a polarizing figure that has a way of triggering an emotional response from opposing players, coaches, fans...and even hockey writers living in Mexico.

Personally, I look forward to the instant hate-fest between the Bees and Amarillo, the Bees and Corpus Christi, the Bees and Brahmas, and whoever else crosses the Bees' path.

The door is still open for Littler to follow his team and Bill Stewart to South Texas, at this time the job is his to pass up. The sudden availability of Curtale certainly makes things interesting.

Needless to say, this is a developing story that we will stay on top of and update as information becomes available today. is the premier website dedicated to delivering the latest news and developing stories from junior hockey across North America, as well as providing online tools for junior hockey players and prospects. With over 850,000 views in the first quarter of 2013, has emerged as the internet's leading source of junior hockey news and information. 

Investigative opinion writer Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Now semi-retired, he splits time with family in Texas and at their beach property in Mexico.  Tune in to his Mexico based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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