The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the Corpus Christi IceRays, Jamestown Rebels, and Springfield Jr. Blues have elected to return to play for the 2021-22 season. All three clubs announced back in September of 2020 that they had temporarily suspended operations for the current 2020-21 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are pleased that all three teams have navigated their way through the uncertainly of the past year and remain dedicated to providing opportunity for players moving forward during the upcoming 2021-22 season,” said NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld. “All our teams play an important part in the NAHL landscape and share a deep history of developing players, entertaining fans, and being an important part of their local communities.”
The Corpus Christi IceRays have been members of the NAHL since the 2010-11 season. Over the course of those 10 seasons, the IceRays have posted a 252-273-66 record in 591 NAHL regular season games. The IceRays best season in the NAHL came during the 2016-17 season when the team finished 3rd in the South Division with a 32-19-9 record.
“We are excited to be back and playing in the NAHL in 2021-22. We have established a wonderful history of player development here in Corpus Christi in a relatively short period of time, which includes sending players to the NHL. We look forward to seeing all of our fans again and are excited for the next wave of players that will get to wear the IceRays jersey and become a part of our community,” said IceRays President Cassidy Lange.
The Jamestown Rebels NAHL membership has existed since 2008, and have been members of the East Division since the 2015-16 season. Over the course of their five seasons in the East Division, the Rebels have posted a 178-94-22 record in 294 NAHL regular season games. The Rebels made back-to-back appearances in the Robertson Cup Championships in 2016 and 2017 as the East Division Playoff Champions.
“I am looking toward the return to play of the Jamestown Rebels. We are proud of our track record of success, which dates back as a membership to 2008, including winning multiple division championships and the development and advancement of hundreds of players who have gone on to compete on the college stage and professional ranks. We look forward to continuing and building upon that success during the 2021-22 season,” said Rebels Owner and Governor Ken Dennis.
As the longest tenured membership in the league, the Springfield Jr. Blues have successfully moved nearly 400 players onto the NCAA and just over 150 players onto professional hockey. They are one of six franchises in league history to win back-to-back Robertson Cup Championships and are the only franchise to continuously play in four consecutive decades.
“After being without hockey here in Springfield for nearly a year, we are excited to announce our return to the ice for the 2021-22 season. We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to meet our new players, welcome back our amazing fans to the Nelson Center, and return to normal operations within our office,” said Jr. Blues Owner and Governor Dan Ferguson.