Feb 242004
 
Authors: Justin Goldman

The Colorado Eagles are revving up for their upcoming playoff

run for their expansion season in the Central Hockey League.

The CHL is revving up for another playoff season in return by

putting its championship trophy on tour for CHL fans to view during

the final three weeks of the regular season.

With only 10 games (six at home) remaining in their inaugural

season, the Eagles have been battling with the Bossier-Shreveport

Mudbugs for home-ice advantage in the Northern Conference.

The Eagles are 36-15-3 with 75 points and a 15-point lead over

the second-place Wichita Thunder. The Mudbugs have 76 points, 36

wins and one game on the Eagles.

For 24 total days the Ray Miron President’s Cup is being

prominently displayed at eight of the 17 CHL cities.

The trophy has already made stops in Oklahoma City, and will

make its appearance at the Budweiser Events Center on March 3

against the Tulsa Oilers.

Hoisted most recently by the Memphis River Kings in 2002 and

2003, the trophy was named after the 2001 merger of the now-defunct

Western Professional Hockey League and the CHL.

“This is the first year we’ve done this,” said Aaron Jackson,

the CHL’s marketing manager. “It gives the new teams and fans a

chance to see what this league is all about.”

The Eagles and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees are the two

expansion teams this season and both teams will compete for the

trophy in March.

Ray Miron, the original founder of the CHL, was recently chosen

as the National Hockey League’s Lester Patrick Award.

The award is given to a person in the hockey community that has

given outstanding service to the game in the United States.

“I imagine this is the greatest award I’ll ever get,” Miron said

from his home in Broken Arrow, Okla.

Miron, now 80 years old, was the general manager of the Colorado

Rockies hockey team for its first five seasons of existence – from

1977 to 1981. He is known as a major contributor to Colorado hockey

and a big part of popularizing the sport in the Mile High City and

surrounding communities.

Now his spirit and influence return to Colorado as a trophy

being displayed for over 5,000 CHL fans.

The Ray Miron President’s Cup is sterling silver with a black

base standing just over 28 inches tall and weighing 19.5 pounds.

The trophy will log nearly 7,000 miles on its expedition, starting

from Phoenix where the CHL front office is located.

“It’s going to build excitement before the playoffs,” Jackson

said. “Especially (in Colorado) and in Rio Grande Valley. Both

teams have been successful and that allows us to promote the sport

to a bigger audience.”

Jackson is also the official handler of the scintillating silver

chalice. Although it is not nearly as prestigious as handling the

Stanley Cup, it is something he will cherish forever.

“So far I have enjoyed it immensely,” he said. “It’s really

great to see the fans’ reaction when they step up beside it to get

their picture taken.”

CHL fans are encouraged–and should not miss the opportunity-to

get their photographs taken with the President’s Cup at every stop

on the tour. A plethora of limited edition sports memorabilia will

also be on display with items available through a silent

auction.

“The display has been very popular in all the cities we’ve been

to so far,” Jackson added.

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