As the start of ice hockey season approaches, I am featuring the Hershey Bears this week because they are oldest minor league hockey team. The Bears have played in the American Hockey League (AHL) since 1938-39 making it the longest continuously operating team still playing in its original city.
Chocolate manufacturer Milton Hershey first established the “Hershey Hockey Club” in 1932 to manage pro hockey teams based in Hershey. The colors of the team jersies are dark brown, medium brown, tan and white and often referred to as “chocolate and white”.
The Bears have won 11 championships – more than any other team. Their most recent title was in 2010. Last season, they finished 43-21-5-7 and lost in the finals to the Lake Erie Monsters.
The Bears are the farm team for the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals.
The latest news for the Bears is that two longtime members of the organization have been elected to the American Hockey League Hall of Fame. President and General Manager Doug Yingst along with former player and current front office executive Bryan Helmer have both been elected.
Hershey opens their 78th season on Saturday night at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.