The Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers are on the move. According to multiple reports, the Plymouth, Michigan-based team will move to Flint following this season. The move is pending approval from the OHL.
A press conference has been scheduled for Wednesday morning where GM Mike Vellucci and Owner Peter Karmanos will officially announce the move.
#BREAKING Deal to move the OHL's Plymouth Whalers to Flint appears done. Press conference called for tomorrow AM at Compuware Arena.
— Aaron McMann (@AaronMcMann) January 13, 2015
ESPN’s Craig Custance reported last fall that the team could be on the move to Chatham, Ontario, but it appears Karmanos wants to keep the team in Michigan. The Whalers have been dealing with struggling attendance numbers for a number of seasons and it was no longer financially smart to keep the team at Compuware Arena in Plymouth.
The future of Compuware Arena is already safe, with USA Hockey announcing last fall that they would move their operations from the Ann Arbor Ice Cube to the Plymouth arena.
Perani Arena in Flint was recently bought by a Florida-based company and they’ve been looking for a team to call the arena home. There was a rumor of a USHL team being brought to Flint, but it looks like the OHL will be a better fit. Can a city like Flint be a viable hockey market for a pro team? We’ll find out soon enough. It’s a shame the Whalers are leaving Plymouth, but at least they’re staying in Michigan.
Plymouth Whalers to hold press conference tomorrow to discuss future of team..all signs point to a move to Flint..pending OHL approval
— Terry Camp (@ABC12Terry) January 13, 2015