Tropics or Not? Newest OHL Owners Face Dilemma

We’re previously reported that Peter Karmanos sold the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers to IMS Hockey Corp. Now that the deal has gone through, the newest challenge is to come up with a team name. They have currently received over 2,000 unique names from 4,000 online submissions ahead of Wednesday’s deadline. And there is one name that is both popular and resented by the general public.

Does Flint Tropics sound like a good name for a hockey team? I don’t think so, because there is nothing “tropic” about Flint, Michigan, or the Midwest. But Flint Tropics was the name of a fictional basketball team in Semi-Pro, a 2008 movie starring Will Farrell.

“Flint Tropics” was one of five names IMS Hockey Corp. registered with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Other names “Flint Pride,” “Flint Phoenix,” “Flint Sparks” and “Flint Vikings”. It doesn’t mean those are the finalists, it could simply mean they wanted to complete the appropriate paperwork with the state before they announce the winner February 20.

One name the team won’t have is Flint Generals. The name has tradition and history as there was a Generals franchise from 1969-1985 and reincarnated from 1993-2010 in various professional leagues. There is already a team with the Generals name in Oshawa, Ont. and the league shot down the idea of two teams with the same nickname.

Logic would show that a team would want a name that can relate with the city/region and can still have meaning 20-25 years from now. Flint Tropics is too trendy and would anyone 20 years from now even remember Semi-Pro? Probably not. And the ownership group feels the same way, as they have been meeting with local business leaders to develop a plan for what they want in a name. And it’s been reported they want a name that can stick and still be marketed 25 years from now.

Even the Toronto Sun is jumping on the anti-Tropics train, stating that if they want to be taken seriously and avoid being mocked through the league, pick a better name.

The team will begin play this fall at Perani Arena and Event Center.

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