The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the relocation of the North Iowa Outlaws’ membership to Onalaska, Wisconsin, for the 2010-11 season.
The team, which is owned by a group headed by Mark Motz, will be renamed the Coulee Region Chill and play its home games at the OmniCenter in Onalaska.
“As the Chairman of our Board of Governors, Mark Motz has demonstrated a relentless commitment to the growth and success of the entire North American Hockey League,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Year after year, he and his staff deliver a first-class product, both from a business perspective and in terms of player development, and we’re looking forward to him carrying that winning combination into the Coulee Region for years to come.”
“I’m excited about the opportunities at the OmniCenter and in the entire Coulee Region. That, along with the opportunity to be close to my family, makes the move a perfect fit,” said Motz. “The past five years in Mason City have been great; the community supported us and it’ll no doubt have continued success with the next ownership group.”
The Outlaws joined the NAHL in 2005-06 and posted their best record in 2007-08 (38-16-4) to win the league’s Central Division regular-season title. The team, which hosted last year’s NAHL’s Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, has moved close to 30 players onto Division I-III hockey.
“The North Iowa Outlaws have been an important part of the North American Hockey League since the 2005-06 season,” Frankenfeld said. “Mason City has proven to be a successful market with passionate fans and sponsors, and we're committed to keeping the team name and brand in place for years to come.
“The NAHL has signed a letter of intent to bring a new ownership group to North Iowa and is negotiating with two prospective groups who are eager to embrace the passion and spirit of the entire local hockey community, specifically the Outlaws’ fans and marketing partners.”
Motz credits Onalaska Community Development Authority chairman Mike Gargaro and OmniCenter building manager Tom Hammill for their efforts in helping bring the NAHL to Onalaska.
“Five years ago, we attempted to put a team in the OmniCenter but couldn’t because of the number of other events it had scheduled,” Motz said. “This time, with the help of Mike and Tom and the entire Omni board of directors, we were able to work around the dates and bring a team to the region.”
The Chill will be the second NAHL team to call Wisconsin home, joining the Janesville Jets, who are in their first season of play.
For more information on the Coulee Region Chill, visit CRChill.com.
The North American Hockey League, the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior A league boasting 24 teams from across the country, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey.