The Jacksonville Icemen are a minor league ice hockey team in the ECHL in Jacksonville, Florida, that began play in the 2017–18 season. The team plays its home games at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
|2019–20 ECHL season|
|Home arena||VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena|
|Colors||Navy blue, Columbia blue, white|
|Owner(s)||SZH Hockey LLC|
(Andrew Kaufmann – majority)
|Head coach||Jason Christie|
|Affiliates||Winnipeg Jets (NHL)|
Manitoba Moose (AHL)
On November 16, 2015, Evansville IceMen owner Ron Geary wrote a letter to the fans that the team's operating lease with the Ford Center was ending after the 2015–16 season. Despite attempts to negotiate a lease extension with the city since February 2015, the two parties had not yet come to an agreement on new terms. The City of Evansville and Geary were unable to come to an agreement. Geary then agreed to terms with the city of Owensboro, Kentucky, to relocate the team to the Owensboro Sportscenter if the IceMen were forced to leave the Ford Center.
On February 8, 2016, the City of Evansville announced that it had secured an expansion team in the Southern Professional Hockey League to play at the Ford Center beginning in the 2016–17 season, thus displacing the IceMen franchise from Evansville. Finally, on March 14, the IceMen and the ECHL announced the franchise's relocation to Owensboro had been approved but the franchise would have to go dormant for the 2016–17 season to allow time for the necessary renovations on the Owensboro Sportscenter to be completed. However, by September 2016, Geary still had not taken over management of the Sportscenter and the City of Owensboro announced a different management company would take over the Sportscenter on October 1. On the September 30 deadline, Geary sent a letter to mayor Ron Payne stating he would not be purchasing the Sportscenter because of too much cost to convert and refurbish the arena.
In January 2017, Geary sold part of the franchise to an ownership group based out of Jacksonville, Florida, and the relocation was approved by the ECHL on February 8, 2017. Geary remained as the primary owner. The team hired Jason Christie as their first head coach and then affiliated with the Winnipeg Jets (NHL) and the Manitoba Moose (AHL), the organization familiar with Christie from his time as the head coach of the Tulsa Oilers.
In the team's second season in Jacksonville, the franchise qualified for the ECHL playoffs for the first time since it joined the league in 2012. Following the season, Geary sold his shares of the team and the controlling interest was acquired by SZH Hockey LLC, a group led by Andrew Kaufmann on July 16, 2019.
|Season||GP||W||L||OTL||SOL||Pts||GF||GA||Standing||Year||1st round||2nd round||3rd round||Kelly Cup|
|2017–18||72||26||39||4||3||59||203||246||5th, South||2018||Did not qualify|
|2018–19||72||36||32||2||2||76||198||217||4th, South||2019||L, 2–4, FLA||—||—||—|
- "A Letter To IceMen Fans, From Team Owner Ron Geary". Evansville IceMen. November 16, 2015.
- "BREAKING: Evansville IceMen Announce Move". The Sin Bin. January 19, 2016.
- "Evansville will be home to Southern Professional Hockey League franchise". Evansville Courier & Press. February 8, 2016.
- "ECHL Approves IceMen Move to Owensboro". OurSportsCentral. March 14, 2016.
- "Owensboro finds backup plan for Sportscenter". WAVE 3. September 12, 2016.
- "Back Up Plan in Place for Owensboro Sportscenter". Tristate Homepage. August 17, 2016.
- "IceMen won't play in Owensboro". Evansville Courier & Press. September 30, 2016.
- "Reports: Minor league hockey team sold to Jacksonville group". WTLV. January 25, 2017.
- "ECHL Approves IceMen Transfer of Home Territory to Jacksonville". ECHL. February 8, 2017.
- "Meet the Jacksonville Icemen, our new hockey team". WTLV. February 8, 2017.
- "ICEMEN BECOME ECHL AFFILIATE OF WINNIPEG, MANITOBA". ECHL. July 6, 2017.
- "Board of Governors Approves Jacksonville's Transfer of Controlling Interest". OurSports Central. July 16, 2019.
- "Jacksonville Icemen team roster". Jacksonville Icemen. 2017-09-16. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
- Jacksonville Icemen (official website)