Pensacola Ice Flyers
The Pensacola Ice Flyers are a team in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) set to begin play for the 2009-10 season. The SPHL, founded in 2004, is a non National Hockey League (NHL) affliated professional ice hockey league based out of Charlotte, NC. Member clubs are located in the southeastern USA, currently with nine teams. The closest team to Pensacola is the Mississippi Surge, based in Biloxi. The President's Cup is the trophy of the league champion.
The Ice Flyers are preceded by the Pensacola Ice Pilots, who competed in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) from 1989-2008. The Ice Pilots were previously affiliated with several teams in the NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, and Chicago Blackhawks.
Home games for the Ice Flyers will be played at the Pensacola Civic Center, which seats 8,150 for hockey games.
Similar to the Ice Pilots, the Ice Flyers nickname is derived from Pensacola's Naval heritage and the world renowned Blue Angels stunt team. The team name also has a double meaning: Team owner Tim Kerr previously played 11 seasons with the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers.