© Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

That's A Wrap

Mavericks Shedding Missouri Label

April 14, 2017 - 3:31 pm

Even though the Mavs fell short of making the playoffs for only the second time in their eight seasons as a franchise, there are certainly a lot of storylines to look forward to as the franchise closes one chapter of their story and begin another. 

One Team, One City

                Certainly, the biggest change to the team going into next season is the name change from the Missouri Mavericks to the Kansas City Mavericks. I talked to Mavericks owner Lamar Hunt Jr. during the regular season home finale about the change and he was quick to point out that it was something that he had in mind from the day he bought the team.

From a hockey standpoint, the name change makes perfect sense as the team continues to solidify their branding as “Kansas City’s hockey team”. Let’s be honest, unless if you’re from around the KC metro or surrounding areas you probably wouldn’t associate Independence as a suburb of Kansas City. Now, those questions are answered as Kansas City continues to assert its’ reputation as one of the best sports towns in America. The team will continue to play in the ECHL and play their home games in Independence in front of The Orange Army, established as one of the best hockey atmospheres in the entire league.

Islanders Affiliation

                The Mavericks have been the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Islanders and the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the past two seasons but the affiliation is said to be ending. Prior rumors had speculated that the Mavericks were going to be jumping from the ECHL to the AHL to be the affiliate of the St. Louis Blues- which both organizations have a working agreement that began this past season. Those rumors have been confirmed to be un-true, but it does beg the question if they will have an affiliation with an NHL franchise. I asked Hunt about that very question and he could tell me that there have been three or four teams who have approached him, but was unable to tell me which franchises they are as talks are still on-going.

JSD is their MAN

When you measure the success of any team it starts with the head coach and this team has the right guy for the future with John Scott Dickson.

In his first season behind the bench, Dickson quickly established a high-energy style of hockey that held each individual player accountable on both ends of the ice. Playing the final four seasons of an eight-year pro hockey career with the Mavs certainly helps your credibility to get your point across in the locker room but Dickson’s no-nonsense coaching style made an immediate impact on a team that was one of the youngest in the entire ECHL. Dickson demands a lot from his players as they continue their growth as a player to ultimately move up to the AHL and eventually the NHL. With Dickson as the head coach of the Kansas City Mavericks, each night that they take the ice, there won’t be a head coaching mismatch.

Farewell Captain Courts

                The second biggest adjustment that The Orange Army will have to get used to is that captain Andrew Courtney will not be the last one to leave the ice during warmups, giving the national anthem singers a snow-shower, or awarding fans with a 27-cent root beer float with every goal he scores. Playing his entire six-year pro hockey career for the Mavs, “Courts” as he is known by his teammates, he retires as the team’s all-time leader in games played (360) and goals (149). You will certainly be seeing the team retire his number 27 jersey in the very near future and don’t rule out the possibility of Courts staying in the organization in a front office role. Both Thiessen and JSD were both former players that have made the transition already.

Mavericks fans, there are certainly a lot of great things to come with the future of the franchise but as the team continues to grow they can’t help but remember what got them to this point without the legacy that is left behind of the Missouri Mavericks.           



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