Hockey in Fresno is always popular, but for one reason or another, never sticks around very long, and it looks to be happening again. All signs point to the NAHL monsters leaving Fresno and heading to Wenatchee, Washington and becoming the Wenatchee Wild. The Wild moved to Texas after this season, so Wenatchee needed a new team. According to multiple sources KMPH uncovered, it's all but a done deal. Unfortunately, the Monsters are not one of those sources. We stopped by the Monsters offices in North East Fresno but the doors were locked and no one answered our knocks. Come to find out, Monsters owner David White also owns Trinity Fruit Sales next door, but he was no where to be found there, either. We are still waiting for a reply to our visit, emails and calls.
But according to Wenatcheeworld.com, the Monsters are on the move to Washington, stating that they will become the new Wild franchise and play inside the Town Toyota Center. KMPH contacted the Toyota Center and they confirmed the news in an email, saying in part, that the "board of directors approved a 5–year lease agreement with Mr. David White (Monsters' owner)... The Wenatchee Wild name and logo was secured... A tentative press conference is scheduled for next week."
The relocation must be approved by the Nnorth American Hockey League to make it official. That approval is expected in the coming days.
After the season, owner, David White, let go, pretty much all of his Monsters employees, citing uncertainty involving the monsters training facility, Gateway Ice Center but even after Gateway announced it will remain open next season, the layoffs have stuck. Another sign pointing to the team's departure.
The good news is, even though the NAHL Monsters are heading to Washington, it doesn't mean the Central Valley will be without hockey, completely. The WSHL Monsters will remain in Fresno, practicing and playing inside Gateway Ice Center.