Remember the Kingfish at the Centroplex? Hockey history revived in Baton Rouge 20 years later

Remember the Kingfish at the Centroplex? Hockey history revived in Baton Rouge 20 years later
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Hot, humid Baton Rouge may seem like an unlikely town for ice hockey, but the new minor league team announced Tuesday is actually not the city’s first.

The Baton Rouge Kingfish — a reference to Huey Long’s famous nickname — played in the ECHL from 1996 until the team moved to Victoria, British Columbia, after the 2002-03 season to become the Salmon Kings.

Playing in the Centroplex — the building now called the River Center — the Kingfish saw average attendance of 6,003 in their first season, but attendance steadily declined over the next seven years. In the team’s final season, average attendance was 1,723. 

Before playing at Baton Rouge, the Kingfish from 1988-1996 were the Erie Panthers in Pennsylvania.

The Kingfish made the ECHL playoffs three times, advancing to the quarterfinals in 1999.

Its final game was a 2-1 loss to the Arkansas RiverBlades on March 30, 2003.

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