I look forward to welcoming the Charlotte Checkers to the Bradley Center on Friday night for the first time. This is Charlotte’s second season in the American Hockey League after a successful run in the ECHL before that. Last season, they made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to Binghamton. Not bad for their first year in the league.
This season, due to realignment and conference changes, we have Charlotte in our division so we will play them a total of eight times including four times here in Milwaukee. It’s nice to see different teams come to town. Last year, we saw Oklahoma City for the first time and the year before that Abbotsford visited the Bradley Center. I expect to develop a strong rivalry with the Checkers as we will be fighting for the Midwest Division title. We meet for the first time with first place (even if early in the season) on the line as we’re separated by just two points,
Charlotte also made an impact on the league last year with a series of phenomenal community relations efforts that really raised the bar for the rest of us in the AHL. I told Tera Black, the Checkers COO, over the summer that she really gave us something to shoot for here in Milwaukee. We’ve always tried to be positive community citizens through our efforts to help those in need. Charlotte did some very special things that garnered them national attention. We will continue to do things that make our community better by utilizing the resources we have with our players and front office staff.
Thanks to all those who participated in the Pink Jersey auction last weekend. We will be sending a check to Lee National Denim Days for more than $10,000 from the auction and raffle that took place. We sincerely appreciate your bids for this worthwhile cause!