WINNINGEST COACH IN ECHL HISTORY TO LEAD JACKSONVILLE ICEMEN

The Jacksonville IceMen announced yesterday that the record holder for the most career coaching wins in the ECHL, Jason Christie, will lead the on ice organization as Vice President of Hockey Operations and Head Coach. With over a decade of coaching in the ECHL, Christie leads the league with a record 547 coaching wins. Throughout his ECHL coaching career, Christie has led teams to the Kelly Cup Playoffs 11 of 14 seasons.

“When we announced the formation of the Jacksonville IceMen in February, we said we are committed to winning immediately,” explained IceMen President Bob Ohrablo. “When you are able to sign an ECHL coaching legend that has a proven track record as Jason does, that’s your man.”

Christie began his pro-level hockey career in 1991 playing for former ECHL team, the Columbus Chill. As a tough, hardworking forward, he accumulated 146 goals and 230 assists (376 points) and 1,122 penalty minutes (PIM) in 555 games spread out over the ECHL, American Hockey League and the International Hockey Leagues. Christie retired as a player and began coaching the Peoria Rivermen (ECHL) during the 1999-2000 season. Eventually, Christie went on to coach other ECHL teams including: the former Ontario Reign, the Utah Grizzlies and most recently the Tulsa Oilers.

“I am excited to bring my experience, recruiting network and, most importantly, a winning culture to the Jacksonville IceMen,” said Christie. “After learning about the incredible reception the team has gotten from the community and the ownership’s commitment to winning on the ice, I can’t wait to get started. I am committed to bringing Jacksonville fans a competitive culture and an exciting team.”

Christie’s first task will be securing an NHL affiliate which will be announced in early July. The Jacksonville IceMen begin their inaugural ECHL season at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (JVMA) on Saturday, October 14thagainst in-state rival, the Orlando Solar Bears. The IceMen will play a 72 game schedule with 36 games at the JVMA, which include 22 Friday and Saturday nights. Full and partial season ticket memberships are available by visiting JacksonvilleIceMen.com or call 904-602-7825.

JACKSONVILLE ICEMEN OPEN THEIR INAUGURAL SEASON ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14th AGAINST RIVALS, THE ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS

The Jacksonville IceMen begin their 72 game Inaugural ECHL season on Saturday, October 14th at 7:30pm against the Orlando Solar Bears at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.  This will mark the beginning of a three game home stand with a battle between the South Carolina (N. Charleston) Stingrays on Saturday October 21st and a special Florida vs. Georgia Game On Ice (Jacksonville vs. the Atlanta Gladiators) on Thursday October 26th.  

The IceMen schedule is designed perfectly for families with 11 games on Friday and 11 games on Saturday, as well as three Sunday matinees.  In addition, the IceMen play one game on Tuesday, 6 games on Wednesday including the night before Thanksgiving, and 4 games on Thursday.  All games start at 7:30, except Sunday matinees which begin at 3pm.   There will be a special weekday game that will be switched to 10:30am (for a School Field Day), date to be determined.

“We thank the City of Jacksonville and SMG (the Arena manager), in cooperating with us to be able to construct a schedule that caters to our family crowd,” explained Bob Ohrablo, IceMen President.  “I know our entire organization and the thousands who have already become IceMen fans look towards October 14th when together we welcome a new legacy of Jacksonville pro hockey!”

The South Division rivalries will be intense as Jacksonville plays intrastate rivals, the Orlando Solar Bears 9 times (5 games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena) and the Florida Everblades 13 times (6 games at home).   Jacksonville will also host the South Carolina Stingrays, Greenville Swamp Rabbits, Atlanta Gladiators, Norfolk Admirals, Reading (PA) Royals, Allen (TX) Americans, and the Brampton (Ontario) Beast.

The longest home stand begins on Wednesday, January 24th vs.  South Carolina and concludes on Sunday, Feb 11th against the Allen Americans (9 of 10 games at home).  The longest the IceMen will spend on the road is five games (November 4th at Greenville and ending November 11th at Reading (PA).

We're Accepting Applications for Sports Marketing Interns

The Jacksonville Icemen are seeking highly motivated, outgoing, and dedicated candidates for our 2017 Season Internships. Candidates should expect to build upon their work experience in the fast-paced, results driven world of the ECHL.

Finalists will be contacted for interviews. All applications will be kept on file until the beginning of the internship program that each candidate applied for.

Position Overview:

The internship program offers hands-on experience in sales and marketing through implementing and planning off-season activities leading up to and through the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season. Sales and Marketing Interns will be an integral part of the IceMen sales team by assisting in all aspects of selling, fulfilling and executing sales initiatives. Interns will also provide support for grassroots marketing, ticket sales events and Jacksonville IceMen game days. This internship is for outgoing, hardworking individuals who want to pursue a career in sports.

The position is based upon supervised work experience in departments throughout the organization, including:

  • Community Relations
  • Public Relations              
  • Corporate Partnerships
  • Ticket Sales                               
  • Retail Sales         
  • Events & Entertainment                              
  • Graphic Design                           

The 2017-2018 Icemen Internship program will begin in April 2017 and end in late April 2018.  Interns are also expected to commit to the full term of the internship.  Applicants must be able to work flexible hours including nights and weekends for events and games. 

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Jacksonville Icemen begin their season in florida october 2017

PRINCETON N.J. – The ECHL announced on Wednesday that the League’s Board of Governors has approved the Transfer of Home Territory for the Membership formerly based in Evansville, Indiana to Jacksonville, Florida. 

The Jacksonville IceMen will begin play in October at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, a 13,141-seat venue which opened in 2003.

“Jacksonville is an excellent geographic fit for our South Division,” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said. “Ron Geary and his team have been working behind the scenes for many months in preparation for this day. This is a great sports town and the Veterans Memorial Arena a terrific facility to showcase ECHL hockey.”

“Jacksonville is a natural fit for professional hockey,” said IceMen CEO Ron Geary. “We looked at the enthusiastic support current teams receive here and are excited to join them in providing Jacksonville fans with solid, family-priced sports entertainment.”

“We are honored to bring professional hockey back to Jacksonville,” IceMen President Bob Ohrablo said. “We are committed to ensuring that everyone who attends IceMen games will enjoy a competitive team and plenty of entertainment surrounding our games – all at family affordable prices. In addition, we will ensure that the IceMen organization becomes a solid corporate citizen in Jacksonville.”

The Jacksonville Lizard Kings competed in the ECHL for five seasons from 1995-96 through 1999-2000, reaching the Riley Cup Finals in its first season. Jacksonville has a pro hockey history dating back to 1964, when the Jacksonville Rockets joined the Eastern Hockey League.

About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 29th season in 2016-17. There have been 614 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 15 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2016-17 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2016-17, marking the 20th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com.

Pro hockey comes to jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL – City of Jacksonville officials joined ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna to welcome the Jacksonville IceMen to the City and League.  Joined by IceMen ownership, including CEO Ron Geary; Team President Bob Ohrablo and Jacksonville based Frank Ruperto, the group announced that this fall, the Jacksonville IceMen will begin play at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.  

The team will play a 36-game regular season home schedule against South Division teams from Atlanta, Cincinnati, Naples/Fort Myers, Orlando, and Greenville and Charleston, SC, as well as the rest of the 28-team ECHL, which extends from Jacksonville to Anchorage, Alaska.

“The City of Jacksonville is thrilled to welcome the Jacksonville IceMen to our sports and entertainment landscape,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “Jacksonville is a great sports city and we are excited about the opportunity to bring professional hockey to our Veterans Memorial Arena.” 

The ECHL serves as a development league for the National Hockey League.

“On behalf of the ECHL Board of Governors, we are pleased to welcome the Jacksonville IceMen to the ECHL,” proclaimed Brian McKenna, the ECHL’s Commissioner.  “The continuing growth of Jacksonville, along with the experienced and enthusiastic ownership group, the wonderful venue and support of the city officials, creates a very positive outlook for the future of pro hockey in Jacksonville.”

“Jacksonville is a natural fit for professional hockey,” said Ron Geary, who has owned the IceMen team for the past eight years in Evansville, Indiana.  “We looked at the enthusiastic support current teams receive here and are excited to join them in providing Jacksonville fans with solid family-priced sports entertainment.”

“We are honored to bring professional hockey back to Jacksonville,” added Bob Ohrablo.  “We are committed to insuring that everyone who attends IceMen games will enjoy a competitive team and plenty of entertainment surrounding our games – all at family affordable prices. In addition we will insure that the IceMen organization becomes a solid corporate citizen in Jacksonville.”

The IceMen are supported by a Jacksonville IceMen Advisory Group that includes community leaders such as:

  • John Delaney (former Mayor, President-UNF)
  • Toney Sleiman (Principle, Sleiman Enterprises)
  • Frank Ruperto (Jacksonville IceMen partner and CFO/SVP Rayonier Advanced Materials)
  • Mike Moses (Michaelson Group Real Estate)
  • Tony Mahfoud (Eisman & Russo)
  • Gilles Richard (Jax Ice and Sportsplex)
  • Dr. Ted Wetzork (Kernan Chiropratic Centre)
  • Bill Adams (Gunster)
  • Elaine Brown (Mayor, City of Neptune)
  • Eric Andeer (Morgan and Morgan)

“There are many people that have helped make this happen,” added Ohrablo.  “They include our owner/members, special advisors to the organization Terry Delahunty and Gerald Higgins and we are very fortunate to have former Barracuda defensemen and general manager, Gilles Richard .”

The IceMen will shortly unveil its Faceoff Jacksonville which will be a series of exciting events leading up to Opening Night in October 2017.  More information on season memberships is available at www.jacksonvilleicemen.com.