Cleveland Lumberjacks Fold While Houston Teams Up With The Minnesota Wild

By Andrew Bourgeois

IHL NEWS

The International Hockey League announced that they would cease operations of the Cleveland Lumberjacks.
The league took control of the team when previous owner Hank Kassigkeit threatened to fold the team in February. The league had been looking for a buyer since that time.
“At this time, IHL ownership believes it is in the best interests of the league to cease operations of the Lumberjacks franchise,” IHL president Douglas Moss said in a release.

The Lumberjacks had been the primary development team of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. The Wild announced Monday they would be affiliating with the Houston Aeros of the IHL next season.

The Minnesota Wild have reached an agreement with the International Hockey League’s Houston Aeros to become their primary minor-league development affiliate.

It’s the first time the Aeros franchise has been affiliated with an NHL team.
Houston has made the IHL playoffs in six of the last seven years. Three Wild players — goalie Manny Fernandez, defenseman Flip Kuba and forward Cam Stewart — spent time with the Aeros.

Todd McLellan, who coached the Wild’s IHL affiliate Cleveland Lumberjacks last season, will coach the Aeros.

IHL FASTFACTS

On November 29, 1997 A IHL-record crowd of 20,804 pack The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit to see the Grand Rapids Griffins spoil the evening with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Vipers.

DID YOU KNOW

Last year the IHL lead all minor leagues in attendance for the 11th straight year.