DANVILLE, Ill. – The tumultuous tenure of the Vermilion County Bobcats came to a final halt on Thursday morning, with the team announcing that it has ceased operations. The team made the announcement on its social media channels.
“Regretfully, the Bobcats have ceased operations,” Bobcats owner Ellen Tully said in the statement. “It is a sad day for hockey fans in Danville, but I want to personally thank them for their loyalty to the Bobcats over the past two seasons.”
The Bobcats’ tenure of less than two years was marked by challenges on and off the ice. In a combined 86 games, Vermilion County managed to win just nine games, at the same time seeing a revolving door of coaches man the bench as head coach.
The team’s first head coach, Brent Hughes, was never able to join the team due to not being able to cross the Canadian border due to travel restrictions. Mike Watt lasted four games after that and was replaced by current Macon head coach Nick Niedert, who was with the team until last April.
The Bobcats opening weekend last season was also postponed due to ice conditions, and last weekend, Quad City was awarded a Sunday forfeit after the Storm traveled to Danville, Ill., and took the ice with the Bobcats not doing so.
One of the SPHL’s next steps is to address the teams scheduled to play the Bobcats the rest of the year and if games will be held with different opponents on forfeits. The Bobcats were scheduled to play Friday at Huntsville and Saturday at Birmingham.
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