Sports Teams in Springfield, MA
Sports in Springfield, MA aren’t as big as they are in other cities, but they have and have had their fair share of teams, at least in minor league professional sports. A fairly large part of sports history in the city focuses on ice hockey. Here are some of the sports teams that have called the city of Springfield, Massachusetts their home.
Springfield, MA Indians
The Springfield Indians existed for a long time and were extremely successful at what they did, but you’ve probably never heard of this club because it was a minor ice hockey professional franchise. The Indians were the founding organization of the AHL, otherwise known as the American Hockey League.
They played from 1926 until 1994, but not consistently as there were three times play was interrupted. There were two interruptions and two name changes over the 60 seasons the organization has played. They won a total of seven Calder Cups, the equivalent of the Stanley Cup in minor hockey.
It was in the 60s that it looked the club should have been in the NHL. They led the league in points for three consecutive years and won three Calder Cups in a row, no AHL team has done that before or since this team set that record. They were so dominant that many saw them to be as good as an NHL team.
Springfield, MA Falcons
The Springfield Falcons took over for the Springfield Indians after they were sold in 1994. They also play in the AHL and is the city of Springfield, MA. They started thanks to the interest of an ex-player of the former club with the help of a local rink owner. Their hard work secured the city an expansion team for the 1994-95 season.
Since the name of the Indians was still under trademark during the time that the Falcons were created, they had to choose a different club name. The new owners decided to settle on the image of a falcon in tribute to two nesting falcons in the area that had become civic symbols. The success of the Indians for 60 seasons in the city was a compelling case to grant them a club, so they did.
The Falcons had two affiliations with organizations in the NHL the Winnipeg Jets and the Hartford Whalers. The Whalers had been the Indians parent franchise during its years which made it an easy transition to the Falcons. Having the affiliation with the Whalers was also helpful since it meant that the Falcons could have many of the same players as the Indians did.
The Falcons would go on to switch affiliations quite a few times throughout its years. In the spring of 2010, the Falcons began a one-year agreement to be affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets. This change also introduced a new logo and new jerseys. After the year, the Blue Jackets switched their affiliation to the Evansville IceMen of the ECHL.
It was in the summer of 2016, that the Arizona Coyotes sought to purchase the organization. Negotiations to relocate were brought on by the expansion of the league. The AHL added Pacific Division teams and Arizona needed a team in Tucson. Hockey has not been lost in Massachusetts, though. There is always college hockey and a new AHL team will move to town known as the Springfield Thunderbirds.
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