The AHL movement West took another step to completion this week with the announcement of the name and logo for the new Calgary Flames affiliation in Stockton, CA. Beginning in the Fall 2015, the Stockton Heat will take the ice at Stockton Arena in place of the ECHL Stockton Thunder. The Heat will join the Ontario Reign, San Diego Gulls, Bakersfield Condors and the as yet unnamed San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate in a new Pacific Division in the AHL Western Conference next season.
The announcement took place at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel in front of over 100 fans who have been waiting to see what the new look for the team would be.Team President Dave Piecuch and the Mayor of Stockton Anthony Silva shared the stage, revealing the name and logo.
“Calgary wanted to rebrand the team for a couple of reasons,” Piecuch said. “First, they wanted the fans to have no confusion that this is a new team at a higher level. They were also eager for a fresh start for hockey in the City of Stockton under a new banner.”
“The new owners opened a name the team contest so that the fans could have a say in what the new name would be. The name Stockton Heat was selected as the winner out of a group of five finalists submitted by the fans.
“The name Heat, which was one of the most-entered names, was chosen out of the five finalists because the Central Valley is certainly known for its heat and it kept the name weather related, something that California is known for across the world.”
The winner of the name the team contest was Daniel Harms as he walked away with the grand prize of two season tickets for next year’s inaugural AHL season and a brand new Stockton Heat sweater to wear at all of next year’s home games.
The new home and away sweaters were showcased at the event. They represent a new era of hockey in Stockton and are a symbol for the success the city and hockey have found for the past decade of partnership. The sweaters feature the Calgary colors, a prominent “S” with a touch of a flame and the shoulders continue the tradition of featuring flags, this time a California State flag on the left and the American flag on the right.