BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Bloomington Blaze are no more. Long live the Bloomington Thunder.
Tuesday afternoon, the new SPHL expansion team announced that in order to make a clean break from its stint in the CHL and to avoid potential anamosity with its former home, the Blaze changed its name to the Thunder and premiered a new logo.
“The ownership group decided it would be better to have a clean break from the old team in the Central Hockey League,” team president David Holt said. “They thought it would be better for the team to stand on its own and also they wanted to avoid any possible concerns in the CHL about intellectual properties. They didn’t want to get into any possible litigation and so forth.”
Holt told The Pentagraph newspaper that the CHL told him it would not release the Blaze name even if he paid the league $100,000. He added that while the team’s legal advisers thought the result of a potential suit could end in their favor, coming up with a new name would allow the team to avoid costly and prolonged litigation.
The team’s new color scheme will be black, silver and purple – the same scheme utilized by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.The flaming letter B that adorned the team’s jerseys has been replaced with a stylized locomotive.
The name may be familiar to hockey fans in the Bloomington area. It is the same name being used by teams in the Bloomington-Normal Youth Hockey Association.
“As a community team we wanted to try to think about something that would appeal to the community,” Holt said. “Because there is such a strong youth hockey following – and because they have done such a good job of growing the name – we talked with them about using their name and they agreed to allow us to adopt it.”
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