Ice hockey to break the calm of professional sports options at Savannah Arena

Jane Fishman is a lifestyle columnist for the Savannah Morning News.

You don’t grow up in Detroit without attending a Red Wings game. More than one time. Always wear something with those red and red wings. The Red Wings play hockey. On the ice. With skates and sticks and a black rubber puck that flies on the ice. In a cool place. Sometimes blood spilled on the ice. We loved it. We were children. A game that our defamed, denigrated and denigrated arena project under construction on the west side of the city will host.

Professional minor league hockey? In the Savannah ? Ridiculous. Be careful, Savannah. You might like.

Yes, there were other sports teams in Detroit. If you wanted football, you had the Lions. I went to those games, too, bundled up, in the old Briggs Stadium before the team’s bigwigs decided that downtown Detroit was so sketchy they had to move the team to the Silverdome in a Pontiac. whiter, probably safer. In retrospect, this is not such a good decision. Lots of money and a bad roof? Wrong combination. Twenty-seven years later, they returned to Detroit, this time to Ford Field. Hey, it’s Motown. Step into the Ford Motor Co. Today, Amazon, still looking for a deal, grabbed the empty Silverdome and made it a regional distribution center.

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Yes, Detroit had baseball. For that you also went to Briggs Stadium, all before professional sport was swallowed up by corporate interests, before it got expensive and arrogant. Following the trend, they demolished Briggs to build the new Comerica Park. It is named after a Dallas-based bank.

Football was fun but the season was short. Baseball was snoring. For us, hockey was king. We would freeze someone’s backyard to skate and play with fancy hockey moves or go to a nearby school where they would freeze the tennis courts. We wrapped our hockey sticks with black electrical tape.

A first ceremonial showdown took place at the site of the new Savannah Arena in this file photo.  It was announced at the press conference that Savannah will host a professional ice hockey team for ECHL in 2022-2023. [Randy Thompson/ Savannah Morning News]

Today the way we play hockey seems dangerous: a flying puck, a savage hit with a stick, trips and falls on the ice, no masks, no helmets. Professional players also did not wear masks. Before the games, with my sports fan and sports enthusiast dad, we chatted with retired Wings players like Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe, who loved the game enough to show up at the stadium. The players were then more accessible. They weren’t making that much money.

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Their wrinkled and scarred faces scared me. They looked like a crazy road map with dozens of interior roads. The games were fast, electrifying. The sound of the skates making a tight turn, the circles, the spinning, the way the ice was rising, the referee’s hiss as the puck was released to start the game, the choreography of a well-timed pass, the thrill of the arena, the machine known as the Zamboni that crawled to smooth and shave ice between spells, the way players zoomed in and out of the player box, changing composition without stopping the game. remember that a sporting event was more tense. You forgot that the players moved on skates. Do they wear skates?

A few years ago, I went to a college girls’ hockey game in Pittsburgh. The players were so covered in shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin guards, breastplates and helmets that I couldn’t determine their gender. The play was equally exciting. A sports friend who lived in Dubai for a while joined a women’s team who trained in a shopping mall ice rink and traveled to other countries.

For a long time, the Wings played in a venue known as Olympia before moving to Joe Louis Arena. Since then – ka-ching, ka-ching – the team has moved to Little Caesars Arena, named after a pizza chain that started out in Detroit.

Jane fishman

Will the Savannah Arena be named after a sponsor? Too early to say. Will hockey have followers? Too early to know either. We must first convince the opponents, the “overpusses”. Before that, we need a name, a catchy name. My colleague Mary Landers thinks it should be called the skates of the savannah. I would have liked to think about it. The skates of the savannah. Let me tear it up.

Contact Jane Fishman at [email protected] or call 912-484-3045. See more of Jane Fishman’s columns at

Sara R. Cicero