"We have heard from the Blues, they are ending their contract with the Peoria Civic Center."
Peoria Civic Center General Manager Jim Weatherington confirms he's received an e-mail from the St. Louis Blues saying the NHL team will end it's lease for its AHL-affiliate to play in the Civic Center.
"That's my understanding," Weatherington tells 1470 and 100.3 WMBD, "until I get an official copy from a lawyer."
That means the team now known as the Peoria Rivermen will not play in Peoria after this season. So, what's next?
"We'll find something," Weatherington says. "I feel confident hockey is a viable product for the community. We just found out, so we don't have any answers yet."
Does that mean another AHL team will be in Peoria, or maybe a team in the ECHL or even the Central Hockey League, which includes a team in Bloomington?
"Every question like that are the questions I'm asking right now," Weatherington says. "I think we're going to look at every viable option. We'll just have to find the right look. I think St. Louis is looking at different options."
The Blues will have to pay a $90,000 penalty for ending its lease with the Civic Center early.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Blues will sell the Rivermen to the Vancouver Canucks, whose current AHL affiliate is the Chicago Wolves.
The Wolves would then own and run the former Rivermen operation for the Blues.
Other media reports indicate the Canucks could then keep its AHL operation in Peoria or relocate to Abbotsford, B.C. if the NHL's Calgary Flames move their AHL team out of that market.