• Jeff Nygaard

NAHL News: Topeka Pilots Moving to Kansas City - Odessa Names New General Manager

Updated: Mar 2

The North American Hockey League's Topeka Pilots will be moving to suburban Kansas City, it was announced yesterday by the league after the NAHL Board of Governors approved the request.

Topeka owner Lamar Hunt Jr., who purchased the team in 2018, changed the name from Roadrunners to Pilots. The NAHL has had a franchise in Topeka since 2007.

The Odessa Jackalopes have started their rebuilding process by naming Rick Matchett as the team's new General Manager yesterday. In January Todd Watson stepped down as head coach and the Jackalopes have continued to be stuck in last place overall in the league.

Matchett was formerly the general manager of the Amarillo Bulls from 2012-19, and was last year's NAHL South Division General Manager of the Year.

Jeff Nygaard is the editor of The Junior Hockey Podcast. He covers Junior and college-bound hockey as a traditional “beat,” in addition to breaking news stories during the course of the year

He has a vast amount of experience on the business and organizational side of the sport as a former owner-operator of two Junior organizations two youth clubs and has served as executive director or commissioner of the Eastern Hockey League and the United States Premier Hockey League.

A Fergus Falls, Minn., native, Nygaard grew up playing for the Fergus Falls Youth Hockey Association, Fergus Falls High School, Fergus Falls Community College and North Dakota State University programs. He can be reached at info@juniorhockeyhub.com for questions, story ideas, and anonymous tips.

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