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Junior Blue Jackets to move hockey operations to Columbus prior to next season

February 12, 2007 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Ohio Junior Blue Jackets News Release

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Junior Blue Jackets will officially move all hockey operations to Columbus for next season, Director of the Ohio Junior Hockey Association Thomas Goebel and Junior Blue Jackets General Manager Don Harkins announced today.

"We're very excited about our move because this is the next step for this franchise," Goebel said. "It's a necessary move to keep Tier I hockey in Ohio permanently."

Prior to the start of the 2007-08 United States Hockey League season, the Junior Blue Jackets will move all hockey operations, including players and coaching staff to Columbus from Cleveland. During the current season, players and coaches lived in the Cleveland-area, where practices were held, while games were played at Nationwide Arena.

Players will stay with host families and attend schools in the Columbus-area, which will be arranged by the team. The Junior Blue Jackets will also be the only team in the United States that will have the opportunity to practice and play in a National Hockey League facility - Nationwide Arena.

In addition to the move, accommodations will be made for the team including renovations to the dressing room the Junior Blue Jackets have used all of this season. The team will also have access to the Blue Jackets' state of the art workout and laundry facilities.

"I think this shows a tremendous commitment from our ownership group to help our franchise develop into one of the top Tier I Junior A Programs in the Country," said Harkins.

The Junior Blue Jackets play at Chicago on Friday at 8 p.m., before returning home to face the Waterloo Black Hawks in a two-game series next Sunday and Monday. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday.

Ohio Junior Blue Jackets individual game tickets for 2006-07 regular season home games are on sale now at Nationwide Arena, The Chiller Ice Rinks, all ticketmaster Ticket Centers and click here for information on season tickets, mini-plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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