The AHL is Waterlogged
10/29/2009 3:36 PM - Chris Etheridge
The conversation in the office this afternoon turned to the number of water-themed teams we play in the American Hockey League. Looking at the list, we counted nine in the league (River Rats, Sound Tigers, Lake Erie Monsters, Milwaukee Admirals, Norfolk Admirals, Rivermen, Pirates, Penguins, Sharks). It all started when we realized that we played Peoria four times, Lake Erie once and Milwaukee three times in October.
My Wisconsin friends would point out that the Milwaukee Admirals were not named for a sea-faring officer, but we're counting it because the skeleton has a tri-corner hat on in the logo. As for Monsters, you'll just have to see their logo. The rest are self-explanatory.
So we expanded our search to other professional leagues and discovered that the AHL is above average for the number of water-themed nicknames.
Major League Baseball claims four (Marlins, Mariners, Rays and Pirates). The NFL also has four (Dolphins, Vikings, Seahawks and Buccaneers). The NBA is last with a measly two (Clippers and Lakers).
The NHL is close in names with six (Sharks, Canucks, Ducks, Hurricanes, Penguins, Islanders).
Oddly, both NBA teams play in Los Angeles, where we're pretty sure there's no water. It is also worth pointing out that the New York Knickerbockers were named after a type of pants, which are most commonly only water-based when in the washing machine or when worn by small children.
The official ruling from Judge Mike Peck is that the Thunder and Lightning do not count as water-based. They are a part of an event that creates water, but they are not a body of water, water craft or riding in water craft.
I also asked for and received an official ruling on Islanders (yes because they had, for a brief period, a guy that looks like the fishstick dude in their logo) and Avalanche (no and this one is a sticky topic).
I also want to admit that I had to look up a Pacer, Thrasher and Clipper to determine what they were.
The only minor league system of equivalent level in North American pro sports is AAA baseball. The Beavers and River Cats are holding tight in the Pacific Coast League while the Tides and Clippers are representing the International League. Let's say they combine for four in AAA baseball.
Maybe tomorrow we will check out the ECHL and AA baseball leagues.
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