June 13, 2011 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL)
CHARLOTTE, NC (June 13, 2011) - The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) today announced the league's Board of Governors has unanimously approved the Mississippi RiverKings to begin play for 2011-2012 season, which begins in October.
"Our goal has always been to build a winning hockey team in a manner that produces positive impacts in our community over and above the entertainment value to area hockey fans," said Lanier Hurdle, a board member. "This change will let us build relationships with teams closer to northwest Mississippi, and build interest in hockey in the region."
"The SPHL is a better regional fit for the RiverKings," said Dave "Ab" Mattice, Director of Business Operations for the team. "It will create rivalries with teams within driving distance of Desoto County. We ask our loyal fans to continue to support the RiverKings here at the Desoto Civic Center and on the road."
"We are excited to welcome the RiverKings into the SPHL," said league president Jim Combs. "We believe they follow our league's tradition of being deeply involved in the local community while bringing affordable family entertainment in the form of professional ice hockey to the region."
The move ends a 19-year affiliation with the Central Hockey League (CHL), in which the RiverKings were one of three remaining original members. The RiverKings, the oldest continuously operating professional sports franchise in the Mid-South, will now begin their 20th season of operations.