Bloomington’s hockey team has a new name: the Central Illinois Flying Aces.
The team previously known as the Thunder announced the change Thursday. GLT first reported the possible name change last week, including some online hints that the name would be the Flying Aces.
The new name will be used for the upcoming season, which begins Oct. 7. The team is an anchor tenant at the newly renamed Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington.
The team plays in the USHL, the top junior league in the country and the starting point for many future NHL draft picks and elite college players.
“We’re really excited for the next chapter of our history,” Chief Operating Officer Brendan Kelly said in a statement. “This organization has had numerous accomplishments in its three seasons, from the five NHL Draft picks to moving nearly 40 players onto NCAA Division I programs. The rebrand not only reflects that success, but unites our area as one large hockey community.”
The Flying Aces nickname emerged because of how it embodies the skill and speed of play in the USHL and its elite players, Kelly said. The new logo and jerseys will be revealed in the coming week.
This will be the fourth hockey team name in Bloomington since the city-owned Grossinger Motors Arena (formerly the U.S. Cellular Coliseum) opened in 2006. The team was originally called the Bloomington PrairieThunder, then the Blaze in 2011, and then the Thunder.
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