Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
April 13, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL)
This past week the NBA G League's Erie BayHawks ceased operations, The Chicago Blackhawks purchased the American Hockey League's Chicago IceHogs, the National Women's Soccer League's Sky Blue FC re-branded to NJ/NY Gotham FC, and the Indoor Football League Iowa Barnstormers named Les Moss head coach. Highlights from this week are from the NBA G League, Women's National Basketball Association, American Hockey League, ECHL, North American Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Major League Soccer, National Women's Soccer League, Canadian Football League, Triple-A East and Major League Rugby.
NBA G League
Erie Basketball Management, LLC, the management company of the Erie BayHawks, announced they will cease operations in the coming weeks due to not having a team to play in Erie next season.
The following statement was made jointly by Erie Basketball Management's president, Matt Bresee, and sole managing partner, Owen McCormick: "We've made the determination that we will cease operations in the coming weeks due to not being unable to find another NBA partner, or other adequate opportunity, to keep G League basketball in Erie. This result is merely a reflection of the changing landscape of the NBA as many teams prefer their G League affiliate be located nearby, and Erie simply is not positioned geographically to provide that."
Erie BayHawks to cease operations
Erie BayHawks Franchise Top Plays
Women's National Basketball Association
WNBA players get their first look at the brand-new Nike Uniforms.
American Hockey League
Governor JB Pritzker joined the Chicago Blackhawks, the City of Rockford, and the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) in announcing a $23 million multi-year capital project to revitalize the BMO Harris Bank Center - Rockford's largest sports arena and entertainment venue. With support from state, local and private sector partners, the project will spur regional economic development and lay the groundwork for the acquisition of Rockford-based professional hockey team, the Rockford IceHogs, by the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.
It's Official: Rockford IceHogs to be sold to Chicago Blackhawks
ECHL Plays of the Week
ECHL Saves of the Week
North American Hockey League
NAHL Plays of the Week
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
QMJHL Hits of the Month
National Women's Hockey League
The Metropolitan Riveters of the National Women's Hockey League announced that Anya Packer has been named the club's new General Manager. Packer, who most recently served as Executive Director of the NWHL Players Association, succeeds Kate Annis, who will take over as Director of Operations for W Hockey Partners.
Major League Soccer
The reigning MLS Cup champs have a new home, and Co-Owner Dee Haslam is giving us the inside scoop on what to expect. We can't WAIT to see the New Crew Stadium in action.
National Women's Soccer League
Sky Blue FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) unveiled a complete brand transformation, which includes a new name and crest. Starting today, the nation's longest-standing women's professional soccer club will compete as NJ/NY Gotham FC. "Today marks a new chapter for women's soccer in the region," said Club Chair Tammy Murphy. "We're making this important change due to our rapid growth and evolution. Our new name reflects our expanding regional reach and captures the relentless determination, unlimited energy, and incredible diversity of the communities we represent."
Here is the video unveiling NJ/NJ Gotham FC logo
The National Women's Soccer League announced a new concussion rule to be implemented beginning in the 2021 season as part of a joint effort between U.S. Soccer and all U.S. professional leagues to increase player safety. The rule allows teams to make two concussion substitutes to replace players with head injuries, regardless of the number of substitutions already used in a game.
Cece Kizer scored the first goal in Racing Louisville FC history
Washington Spirit Trinity Rodman became the youngest player to score a goal at a NWSL game at the age of 18.
United Soccer League Championship
The United Soccer League unveiled the most expansive linear television schedule in its history, featuring top clubs from the USL Championship facing off on ESPN networks, plus the first game in USL League One history to air on national television in the 2021 campaign. In addition to the linear schedule on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, the remainder of the USL Championship and League One regular-season and playoff games will stream live on ESPN+, giving fans a front-row seat for almost 700 games across both leagues.
Indoor Football League
The Iowa Barnstormers have named Les Moss as their new Head Coach, President Jeff Lamberti and General Manager Juli Pettit announced. Moss joins the organization effective immediately and will oversee all coaching duties. Moss is a seasoned arena and indoor football coach who brings a great deal of knowledge to the Iowa Barnstormers organization. Moss began his coaching career in the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1989 and throughout his career has seen 13 Championship games, earning 5 rings. He has also earned honors as Head Coach of the Year in 2010 and Assistant Coach of the Year in 2019 in the AFL.
The six-time world champion Arizona Rattlers have signed quarterback Vincent Testaverde Jr. for the 2021 Indoor Football League season. QB Vincent Testaverde Jr. (6'1" 210, University of Albany) joins the Rattlers for his rookie season in the IFL. Testaverde Jr. previously spent time in training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL, as well as the BC Lions in the CFL. Vincent is the son of the Buccaneers' 1987 No. 1 overall draft pick Vinny Testaverde, who spent 21 years in the NFL.
National Arena League
"We are thrilled to be welcoming back Arena Football, and The Albany Empire Fans," said Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber. "The cooperation of the fans at the NCAA Hockey Event helped show that we as a building, and the Capital Region could go back to live events safely. All Department of Health guidelines will be in place for the Arena Football Season regarding social distancing, vaccines, testing, and patron safety."
Canadian Football League
Former CFL Commissioner Larry Smith was on with TSN 690 and he talked about how this CFL season needs to happen but how more importantly we need some answers from Randy Ambrosie and the CFL ASAP
The Buffalo Bisons announced that they will begin the 2021 Triple-A season in Trenton, NJ (at the home of the Trenton Thunder), while the Bisons and Toronto Blue Jays complete a joint renovation project to prepare Sahlen Field for Major League regular season games. The Bisons Home Opener is scheduled for Tuesday, May 4 against the Worcester Red Sox.
Trenton Thunder to Host Triple-A Buffalo Bisons During the 2021 Baseball Season
High-A Central League
The Great Lakes Loons announced that Chris Mundhenk has been named President and General Manager of the Great Lakes Loons. The 2021 season will mark Mundhenk's 15th season with the club after serving in a number of leadership roles since joining the Loons in 2006.
The Lincoln Saltdogs have hired Brett Jodie as the club's ninth manager, the team has announced. Jodie fills a vacancy left by James Frisbie after he was hired to join the Detroit Tigers big-league staff last month. Jodie, 44, has spent 13 years with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League, including seven years as the club's manager from 2013-2019. Jodie won an Atlantic League championship in 2015 and made the playoffs in six of his seven seasons at the helm. In his managerial career, Jodie is 556-405 and has never had a losing season.
Major League Rugby
San Diego Legion is returning to its home in San Diego, CA. On April 12, the team will relocate back to San Diego and resume training at the Legion High Performance Center and Headquarters in Carlsbad.
Due to various limitations caused by the pandemic in California, the San Diego Legion temporarily relocated to Las Vegas, NV for the beginning of the Major League Rugby 2021 season. The team is now returning to its home in San Diego for the remainder of the MLR season.
Top Five Tries of Week Three
Did we miss anything newsworthy or downright fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from April 13, 2021
- Bakersfield Scores Four Unanswered to Beat Eagles, 6-2 - Colorado Eagles
- Wild Cruise Past IceHogs 4-1 for Sixth Win in Eight Games - Iowa Wild
- Comets Down Crunch In Hofer's First Career Win - Utica Comets
- Crunch Downed by Comets, 5-1 - Syracuse Crunch
- Tampa Bay Lightning Sign Forward Cole Koepke to Two-Year Contract - Syracuse Crunch
- Condors Welcome Back Fans Starting Saturday - Bakersfield Condors
- Sound Tigers Edged by Hot Hartord - Bridgeport Islanders
- Bears Weekly: Strong Goaltending Helps Bears Continue Winning Ways - Hershey Bears
- Tucson Roadrunners' Road Ahead: Week of April 12, 2021 - Tucson Roadrunners
- Middleton Returns, Timmins and Renouf Recalled - Colorado Eagles
- Amerks Sign Three to Professional Tryouts - Rochester Americans
- Defenseman Brandon Crawley Loaned to Monsters by New York Rangers - Cleveland Monsters
- Syracuse Crunch, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Game on May 12 Canceled - Syracuse Crunch
- Florida Panthers Recall Noah Juulsen from Syracuse Crunch - Syracuse Crunch
- Sound Tigers Return Home to Face Wolf Pack at 1 p.m. - Bridgeport Islanders
- Bears Recall Goaltender Hunter Shepard from Stingrays - Hershey Bears
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.