When residents of the Independence-Kansas City area think “Mavericks” they think hockey. It wasn’t always that way.
A short time after the announcement that pro hockey would be played in Independence many people raised the question “what would the team be named?” Kansas City Star columnist Greg Clark suggested the team be dubbed the Harrys in honor of our nation’s 33rd president Harry Truman who hailed from Independence, or the Jacksons because the team would be a boon to Jackson County. In the column in which he gave these ideas Clark said Independence City Manager Robert Heacock said a fitting name would be the Little Blue Devils to pay homage to the Little Blue River.
Team staff members heard many team name suggestions but I really don’t believe an idea passed to me would have been an overwhelming success in the Show Me State…….”The Heartland Jayhawks.”
Independence city officials placed one stipulation…the destination would be Independence or Missouri.
Word got out the local sextet would be known as the Missouri Bullfrogs. While staff members weren’t crazy about becoming amphibians some came up with creative ways to make this name bearable. One suggested the kids club be called the Little Croakers. Another said parking lot signs could read “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Toad.”
While working an Independence Pro Hockey booth on the Independence Square a prominent Independence resident came just short of telling me the Bullfrog name was unacceptable.
Team owners Matt Adams, his brother Mark Adams and their friend Mike Carper of Lubbock, Texas declared their team would not be known as the Bullfrogs.
In a vote, sponsored by the Independence Examiner, people were given the opportunity to tell officials their choice of a team nickname.
The most common suggestion was “Bucks” mostly because the sign on the desk of Harry Truman when he occupied the Oval Office read “The Buck Stops Here.”
Bucks could not have been used because the Laredo Bucks were a member of the CHL in 2009.
I know…you are probably saying “the AHL has two teams known as the Admirals.” The Norfolk Admirals joined that league one season before the AHL absorbed six teams from the International Hockey League when the “I” went out of business in 2001. One of the IHL teams to become a member of the AHL was the Milwaukee Admirals.
Back to our local team, ten potential team names were chosen from over a thousand entries. On a hot summer day in 2009 hockey fans attended a press conference at the Harry S Truman Presidential Library to learn the Missouri Mavericks would call the Independence Events Center home. A selected number of people who submitted the name “Mavericks” won prizes from team sponsors.
The next time you join 5,799 of your closest friends for a hockey game at the IEC think to yourself “there is something in a name.”