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The Chicago Express rolls into Hoffman Estates

Kris Gray

I feel blessed to be able to combine my love of photgraphy with my love of hockey. Raised in a family that avidly followed the sports of Pro Wrestling, Roller Derby, Nascar and the Chicago Bears.


The Chicago Express' primary logo was unveiled today in Hoffman Estates, IL.

Premier AA Hockey is coming back to the Chicago land area. The newest team to be added to the East Coast Hockey League held a Press Conference today at the Sears Centre. They announced that the new team's name will be the Chicago Express and it's first Head Coach will be Steve Martinson. The Express will call the Sears Centre Arena, located in Hoffman Estates, their home. The team will begin their inaugural season at the start of the 2011/2012 hockey season.  

The team is owned by C & S Family Sports. C & S Family Sports is in turn, Craig and Sue Drecktrah. The Drecktrahs are no strangers to minor league hockey as Craig was part owner of the Rockford IceHogs for several years, back when that team was in the United Hockey League. The Drecktrahs also took over ownership mid season of the already financially troubled Chicago Hounds, during what was the last season for both the Hounds and the UHL. The UHL changed it's name to the International Hockey League and the Hounds ceased operations after the 2006/2007 season ended.  

This summer, fans had the chance to submit team name suggestions to the team's website. Fans voted on-line for their favorite choices and the top four names were placed for a final vote. Marc Johnson of Bartlett, IL was the lucky fan who had submitted the name of Chicago Express. For his winning submission, Johnson was presented today with a 4 pack of Season Tickets to the 2011/2012 inaugural season for the Express. The other three names and their submitters were: Hoffman Hammers, Jeff Latzko; Chicago Blizzard, Mike Kuecker; and the Chicago Knights, Chris Bond. It was also announced that Johnson will be dropping the puck at the very first home game the Express plays at the Sears Centre.

The Team's colors will consist of navy blue, sky blue & grey and the primary logo is that of a train. The secondary logo is a train whistle. Chicago has a history with the railroad and the manufacture of train cars and the team name was chosen in tribute to this long history.

Coach Martinson comes to the team with 15 years of Coaching experience. His teams have always made the postseason playoffs and he has won 6 championships. Prior to becoming a Coach, Martinson the player, skated professionally for 12 seasons with an assortment of teams in the National and American Hockey Leagues. Martinson and his family have moved back into their home in Rockford, IL and voice their excitement at being back in the state line area. He states that his kids are playing hockey in Rockford already.

C & S Family Sports offers affordable family-friendly excitement for hockey fans of all ages. The Chicago Express is currently offering season ticket packages for sale.

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Newly named Head Coach for the Chicago Express, Steve Martinson.


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Owner & CEO of the Chicago Express, Craig Drecktrah.

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Present & General Manager for the Chicago Express, Wade Welsh.

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On hand for the Chicago Express unveiling was Hoffman Estates Mayor, Bill McLeod and ECHL Commisioner, Brian McKenna.


Craig Drecktrah presents Marc Johnson with a 4 pack of Season Tickets for the upcoming 2011/2012 opening season for the Chicago Express. Johnson submitted the winning name for the new hockey team.




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