Rough & Ready Islanders to Replace Stockton Thunder
For the first time in franchise history, on February 7th and 8th, the Thunder will take the ice not as the Stockton Thunder, but rather as the Rough & Ready Islanders as part of the ECHL’s Hockey Heritage Weekend event held in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Hockey Heritage Weekend is not just a celebration of the sport, but also of the Stockton Thunder and the Alaska Aces heritage, and of the ECHL’s continued partnership with the NHL.
“The first time I visited Stockton, I was greeted by the sign, “Port of Stockton – Rough & Ready Island” which intrigued me”, explains Team President Brian Sandy. “When I learned that we were selected to be a part of the Heritage Games, I thought of how great it would be to become the Rough & Ready Islanders, as that name pays tribute not only to the history and importance of Stockton, California, but also the importance of our NHL Affiliate, the New York Islanders.”
Port City Marketing Solutions designed the “Rough & Ready” logo in conjunction with the New York Islanders and the Stockton Thunder. The New York Islanders logo was modified to remove the “NY” and add in “Rough & Ready” with the “y” forming the hockey stick just as in the NHL club’s logo. The four victory stripes on the stick remain as a tribute to the four Stanley Cups the Islanders have won. Additionally, Port City Marketing removed Long Island from the logo, and instead included an orange outline of Rough & Ready Island.
The jersey the Thunder will wear for the series is the same one worn by the four-time Stanley Cup Champion New York Islanders with some slight modifications. The white jersey features the “Rough & Ready” crest on the front of the jersey and the city’s name on the front of the bottom stripe. The upper right hand corner of the jersey will feature the ECHL Hockey Heritage Weekend patch while the Thunder’s 2013 Western Conference Champions patch will be featured on the shoulders.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the franchise to take part in this prestigious event,” said Sandy. “The games will be showcased on national television, which is great for our team our league and the City of Stockton. Fans that are unfamiliar with our league will learn that the ECHL combines a high quality brand of hockey with affordable family entertainment. The fact that we can integrate a historic Stockton landmark and our tremendous partnership with the Islanders is extremely satisfying. I certainly believe that you want your hockey team to be “rough” and “ready,” so it seems like a perfect fit.”
Beginning in 1944, the U.S. Navy began to acquire what would eventually become Rough & Ready Island, which is located three miles west of Stockton, California. The station served as a supply center, an ordnance depot, and for a time during WWII, an emergency ship repair facility.
With Stockton port officials seeking to acquire the island, President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1995 enabling the eventual transfer of the 1,155 acres in June of 2000. The final 60 acres of the island would be transferred in 2010. The transfer triggered more than a decade of growth and development that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars and generated thousands of jobs.
“We love it anytime we can celebrate Stockton’s rich history, and heritage and tying in our waterfront past with the present makes even more fun,” explains Wes Rhea, CEO of Visit Stockton. “Since the beginning, the Stockton Thunder has been an active partner in the Stockton community and it demonstrates that they are part of the fabric of our great city.”
While this weekend of hockey takes place in Alaska, the Thunder will sport the white helmets and white jerseys during Law & Order Night on March 22nd against the Aces in Stockton Arena. The Thunder will donate a portion of ticket sales and silent auction prizes to help the local law enforcement community build a new memorial for fallen officers.
The game worn jerseys will be auctioned off in conjunction with the March 22nd game. Fans can preorder the limited edition authentic jerseys beginning January 16th on the Stockton Fan Attic web page with the window for ordering this jersey ending at 5:00 p.m. on January 23rd. These special order jerseys are $209, and are not guaranteed to be available prior to the game on March 22nd as delivery will be dependent on Reebok production schedules.