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Dayton Gems back on the ice?

IHL’s board of governors anticipates the old franchise will be revived next season.

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By Debbie Juniewicz
Contributing Writer
10:55 PM Saturday, May 30, 2009

If two Fort Wayne, Ind., businessmen have their way, the Dayton Gems will live again, joining the International Hockey League and playing at Hara Arena next season.

“The Dayton Gems franchise is in the process of having its application reviewed,” said Michael Franke, chairman of the IHL board of governors and also president of the league’s Fort Wayne Komets. “The bottom line is that the league has its due diligence and procedures to follow, but we anticipate that the Gems will play in the IHL this season.”

One indication came last week when the league granted the new franchise approval to take reservations for season tickets beginning Monday, June 1.

The team’s primary investors, Rich Bruner and Ryan Yerrick, own the Buddy’s Pizza Buffet restaurant chain headquartered in Fort Wayne. “It’s a good mix of marketing people along with some local flavor to put a local touch on the resurrection of the Dayton Gems,” Franke said of the ownership group.

At least for one season, the Gems would fill the minor-league hockey void left by the Dayton Bombers. Once an ECHL cornerstone, the Bombers have suspended operations for the 2009-10 season but hope to return.

Hara housed the original Dayton Gems, who played in the IHL from 1964-80. This is a radically different IHL, however. It had been known as the United Hockey League until 2007, when a change was made to capitalize on the old league’s name recognition.

The original IHL went out of business in 2001. The current version consists of six teams in Indiana and Michigan.

Gems season tickets on sale right now, call 937-275-7777 for info!
Dayton Gems
2009-06-04 16:55:40.273
Wow...remind me to never, ever challenge jeff to a Dayton Hockey Trivia contest...

Glad to see that the Gems may well be back!
2009-06-04 11:10:41.267
I remember when I went to Belmont High School. I was a member of the pep band from 1966 to 1969. We went to many Dayton Gems games and played music during the breaks. I am very excited to hear that they may be coming back.
Ken Hallum
2009-06-03 19:29:45.529
Columbus Checkers, Columbus Goldenseals, Muskegon was also the Zephyrs & Lumberjacks as well, Port Huron was the Flags & Wings, Des Moines was the Oakleafs & Capitols, Toledo was the Blades, Hornets & Goaldiggers, Flint Generals, Saginaw Hawks, Gears, & Generals, Kalamazoo was the Wings & the Michigan K-Wings, Milwaukee Admirals...Gems were also the Owls at one point...
2009-06-03 18:03:06.547
Remember going to the Gems games at Hara and then to Cassano's or Marion's afterword. A classic Dayton night out in the 60's and 70's. Trying to remember all the teams in the old IHL...Muskegon Mohawks, Saginaw gears, Indy Checkers, Toledo Blades(?), Fort Wayne comets, what were some of the other cities/mascots?
2009-06-03 16:52:27.815
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