Greenville Road Warriors
|Greenville Road Warriors|
|City||Greenville, South Carolina|
|Home arena||Bon Secours Wellness Arena (Formerly the Bi-Lo Center)|
midnight blue, copper, white, silver
|General manager||Chris Lewis|
|Head coach||Dean Stork|
Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
Adirondack Phantoms (AHL)
|2010–present||Greenville Road Warriors|
The Greenville Road Warriors are a professional ice hockey team located in Greenville, South Carolina. The team is a member of the ECHL and play their home games at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville. The franchise had previously played as the Johnstown Chiefs from the ECHL's inception in 1988 until the team's relocation in 2010. The Road Warriors are the second ECHL franchise to play in Greenville, as the city hosted the Greenville Grrrowl from 1998 until 2006. The team is currently affiliated with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and the Hartford Wolf Pack and Adirondack Phantoms Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League.
Johnstown Chiefs (1988–2010)
The Johnstown Chiefs were one of five franchises that founded the East Coast Hockey League in 1988. Johnstown's initial owners had wanted to name the team the Jets in reference of a previous franchise that had played in various leagues from 1950 until 1977. However, the original Johnstown Jets owners owned the name and refused to allow the ECHL franchise to use it. The owners of the ECHL franchise instead decided to name the team the Chiefs in reference to the Charlestown Chiefs from the ice hockey movie Slap Shot which was filmed in Johnstown.
The Chiefs played their home games at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown for all 22 of their seasons in the ECHL. In the inaugural season of the team and the ECHL, Johnstown finished second in the regular season standings and were the runner-ups in the inaugural Riley Cup finals, losing to the Winston-Salem Thunderbirds 4 games to 3. Although the Chiefs had played in the ECHL for 22 seasons, they had never won a division, conference, Brabham Cup or Riley/Kelly Cup title. Throughout Johnstown's history, the club had affiliation agreements with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Chiefs would flounder for several years as the owners of the team tried to find local ownership for the team, but failed. After losing a reported $100,000 per year and facing an expensive rent posted by the War Memorial Arena's new owners, the Chiefs started to listen to offers to relocate the team.
Relocation to Greenville's Bi-lo Center
|This section requires expansion. (September 2013)|
On February 13, 2010, the Tribune-Democrat reported that television reports from Greenville stated that the Chiefs would be relocated to Greenville following the 2009-10 season and compete at the BI-LO Center. Two days later the Tribune-Democrat confirmed previous reports that the Johnstown Chiefs would relocate to Greenville, pending approval by Greenville's arena board and the ECHL's Board of Governors. On February 15, 2010, the Greenville Arena District Board announced that they had agreed to a five-year deal to bring the Johnstown Chiefs to Greenville's Bi-Lo Center. The importance of the new Greenville team financially helps the two nearby teams in the ECHL that had lost a rival (Charlotte) to the AHL for the upcoming season; the Gwinnett Gladiators via Interstate 85, and the South Carolina Stingrays (Charleston) via Interstate 26 through Interstate 385. While Gwinnett is the closer rivalry, the Charleston rivalry is an in-state rivalry and the older, more established rivalry (ninth season versus sixth season).
Cincinnati Cyclones assistant coach Dean Stork was named the franchise's first head coach on June 29, 2010.
- Official Website of the Greenville Road Warriors
- Official website of the ECHL
- Official website of the Bon Secours Wellness Arena