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Topeka Hockey GM, Presson, receives CHL Award

June 9, 2004 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Topeka Tarantulas News Release

Topeka’s new Central Hockey League team does not have a name yet, they have never played a game, but a staff member has already received a league award.

At the CHL Awards Banquet, Saturday, June 5th, at the Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ, Topeka Hockey, LLC General Manager, Chris Presson was presented the CHL Soul of Service Award. The award is presented annually to the CHL executive who has best demonstrated the qualities of excellence and dedication to providing outstanding customer service.

Presson received the award for his contributions as General Manager of the Oklahoma City Blazers. He served as the Blazers GM from mid-season in 2000-2001 until the conclusion of the 2003-2004 campaign.

Presson was the General Manager of the Topeka ScareCrows of the Central Hockey League from the team’s first season, 1998-1999 until the end of the 1999-2000 season. During his tenure with the ScareCrows, Topeka averaged over 4,700 fans-a-game.

Last season, under Pressons’ guidance, Oklahoma City averaged 8,763 fans-per-game, second overall in minor league hockey and highest of teams below AAA status. During Pressons’ four years at the Blazers helm, Oklahoma City averaged nearly 9,000 fans-per-game, first overall in minor league hockey during that time period.

When Presson was asked about his success he said “if you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen”. Other Topeka staff members in attendance at the awards banquet and CHL Spring Conference were Head Coach, Joe Coombs, Assistant General Manager Nick Casarona, Director of Ticket Sales, Selena McNaul, Director of Marketing, Brenda Bryant, Sales Associate Scott Smith and Director of Broadcasting, Bob Rennison.

CHL divisions and conferences were determined at the meetings. Topeka will be in the Northwest Division of the Northern Conference with the Wichita Thunder, Colorado Eagles and New Mexico Scorpions. The other Northern Conference division, the Northeast Division includes the Oklahoma City Blazers, Tulsa Oilers, Memphis RiverKings, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs and Fort Worth Brahmas. The Southern Conference will have the Southwest Division and the Southeast Division. The Southwest will have the Amarillo Gorillas, Lubbock Cotton Kings, Odessa Jackalopes and San Angelo Saints. The Southeast Division includes the Austin Ice Bats, Corpus Christi Rayz, Laredo Bucks and Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees.

Central Hockey League teams will be allowed to have four veterans (260 or more regular season games) and must carry a minimum of five players with 128, or fewer, regular season games on their 18-man roster. Seventeen of eighteen players will be allowed to dress out for every game.

The 60-game 2004-2005 Central Hockey League regular season will begin Thursday, October 21 and will conclude Sunday, March 20, 2005. Each team will play 30 home and 30 away games. The schedule will be released in mid-to-late July.

Topeka Hockey, LLC is currently selling season tickets and sponsorships for the 2004-2005 season. For ticket information call the team office at 785-235-WINN (9466). In the near future the team name will be announced and the logo unveiled.

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