The Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL, affiliate of the New York Rangers, has changed their name, the team announced on Wednesday. The new moniker: The Swamp Rabbits.
Before you ask what a Swamp Rabbit is (A: a rabbit who lives in a swamp, probably), check out the team’s logo, replete with carrot hockey stick. Bugs Bunny would approve.
The team moved to Greenville in 2010 and the renaming of the franchise is an effort, as the team says at their site, to “strengthen the team’s ties to Greenville.”
The name actually has little to do with rabbits, but instead was the local name for the Greenville and Northern railroad that connected Greenville with “the rich coal fields of Tennessee.” Locals nicknamed the line as they began to use it recreationally to get to northern Greenville County.
Team owner Fred Festa says of the name change:
After much thought and consideration, we determined that we wanted our new identity to honor a piece of Greenville’s history while also being relevant within the community today… Several factors were taken into account when deciding on what that representation would be. Ultimately, we selected the Swamp Rabbits because the name holds dear to a variety of residents, businesses, popular recreational areas and the historic landmark, the Swamp Rabbit railroad, dating back the 1920s in Greenville.
The logo and name are great in my book and it’s a great nod to the heritage of the region. The name is used throughout the are with cafes, bridges and many local businesses paying homage to the railroad.
The Swamp Rabbits will play their first home game in the new sweaters on October 23rd against the Carolina Stingrays.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.