|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2010)|
|Founded||2008 (First franchise)
2010 (Second franchise)
|Home arena||Town Toyota Center|
Blue, Black and White
|General manager||Bliss Littler|
|Head coach||Bliss Littler|
|Media||560am KPQ/1340am The Zone|
|2013–Present||Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees|
The Wenatchee Wild is a Tier II Junior A ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League's West Division. The team plays its home games at the 4,300-seat Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington. The team joined the NAHL as an expansion team for the 2008-09 season, and are well known for their rivalry with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
On September 12, 2006, ground was broken on a new multipurpose event center that would be home to a new ice hockey team. On February 22, 2008, the NAHL granted Wenatchee Junior Hockey, LLC. with conditional approval for an expansion team. On May 20, 2008, Wenatchee Junior Hockey, LLC. announced the franchise would be the "Wild." The name was chosen by a "name-the-team contest" held at local schools in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. Other potential names for the team were the Wranglers, Bombers, Wonders, Hockeyes, Winning Walruses and Ice Busters. The Wild played their first game on September 17, 2008, losing to the Motor City Metal Jackets 2-1 in overtime. The Wild made a championship run in that first season, winning the division title but losing the championship game 3-2 in overtime. The following season, they came back and won the West Division championship in 2009-10, but were eliminated in the round-robin championship tournament.
On January 19, 2013, USA Hockey approved the transfer of the Wenatchee Wild from the NAHL to the British Columbia Hockey League for the 2013-14 season. However, on May 14, 2013, the Wild announced they would instead relocate the franchise to Hidalgo, Texas and play the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in the NAHL.
On May 22, 2013, the Wenatchee City Council approves a deal to move the Fresno Monsters to Wenatchee and keep their name and logo. The team announced that it had retained coach Bliss Littler from the previous franchise on June 4, 2013.
The team has created an identity for themselves by using cowbells. Similar to the Tampa Bay Rays of the MLB and the Sacramento Kings of the NBA, the Wild have fans ring cowbells in support of the team. After a Wenatchee goal, fans will ring their bells in support. Since 2008, the Wild have hosted a cowbell giveaway, where the first 2,000 fans through the door get a free cowbell. Many fans also bring their own bells to games.
The Wenatchee Wild have used a slogan each year following the inaugural season.
2009-2010: Our team, our time, our house!
2010-2011: Unfinished Business
2011-2012: The Wolfpack is Back
|2008-09||58||35||19||4||74||197||182||1,322||1st, West||lost in Robertson Cup Final|
|2009-10||58||45||10||3||93||219||125||1,520||1st, West||lost in Round Robin|
|2010-11||58||34||21||3||71||207||148||1,208||2nd, West||lost in 2nd Round|
|2011-12||60||36||17||7||79||165||102||1,297||2nd, West||lost in 2nd Round|
|2012-13||60||39||15||6||84||197||147||1,509||1st, West||lost in Robertson Cup Final|
|2013-14||60||29||23||8||84||169||163||867||3rd, Mid-West||lost in Division Final|
On November 24, 2010, the Wenatchee Wild fired Paul Baxter, their inauagural head coach. It is unspecified exactly what led to the firing of Baxter, who led the Wenatchee Wild to back-to-back West Division titles in 2008 and 2009 and an amazing finish of making it to the Robertson Cup Finals in The Wild's first year. Baxter was replaced in December 2010 by John Becanic. On April 27, 2012, shortly after elimination from the 2012 West Division Playoffs, Coach Becanic resigned. USHL coach Bliss Littler was announced as the new Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations on May 23, 2012. Mr. Littler currently holds the record as the winningest coach in USA Hockey history (Jr. Tier 1 and 2). Littler was released from his duties as the Omaha Lancers USHL Head coach mid season 2011/12.
- "USA Hockey Approves Wenatchee Wild to BCHL". JuniorHockey.com.
- "Wenatchee Wild to relocate NAHL membership to Hidalgo, Texas". Junior Hockey News. May 14, 2013.
- "Press Conference Scheduled for Wednesday". Wenatchee Wild. June 4, 2013.