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.
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
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
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.
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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.
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