Home » Local News, Rotating Features

Thunder skates into Alpena – new team inks 3 year deal

Submitted by on April 28, 2010 – 6:30 amNo Comment

Hockey fans in Alpena will have a new team to cheer for, starting later this year.

True North Radio has learned the Alpena Thunder, a Tier III Junior A hockey team, signed a 3-year contract late Monday afternoon, to play at Northern Lights Arena (NLA).  The deal was inked after it became apparent a contract agreement could not be reached with the IceDiggers.

The terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed but the team will operate under a probationary period for the first year.

The quality of hockey in a Tier III Junior A league is considered a step below what IceDigger fans are used to, but will allow more ice time for local players.

The signing of the Thunder was held up for a period of time due to the criminal history of one of the team’s primary investors.  Joseph Kolodziej ,43, of Petoskey has an extensive criminal background that includes a 5 year prison stretch for forgery. 

Kolodziej met with the Multi-Purpose Arena Coalition (MPAC) board Sunday afternoon and explained his side of the story.

A number of provisions have been added to the contract to financially protect the arena.