Middleton, Wisconsin – In an announcement held today in front of a capacity crowd at the Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wisconsin, Madtown Hockey, LLC., announced it will compete in the United States Hockey League (USHL) starting in the fall of 2014. The name of the franchise as part of today’s announcement will be the “Madison Capitols.” The Capitols will begin competition in the 2014 USHL season and play its home games at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Also, announced today as part of the new ownership/investor group is current NHL and Minnesota Wild star defenseman, Ryan Suter, a former hockey standout at the University of Wisconsin and former Badgers hockey player and businessman, Tom Sagissor.
Suter and Sagissor join the ownership group who are hockey fans that include: Brian Schoenborn, Jeff Krol, Charles Bidwill III, Saul Trieman and Tom Garrity. The Madison Capitols will hire full-time employees, coaches and a training staff, along with securing players in the coming months that will also help provide a strong economic impact to the local community.
“Today is a wonderful day for hockey in Madison, Wisconsin,” said Garrity a native of Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin and a University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate. “This area has always supported hockey at all levels. Fans will enjoy the USHL and its style of play. Our ownership group has a strong desire and goal to give fans a winning product on the ice and a total entertainment experience from start to finish. At the same time, we are proud to continue with the Madison Capitols name as it has a rich hockey tradition and significance in this area. We will also be active community participants to help grow the game of hockey at all levels.”
As Managing Partner of Madtown Hockey, LLC., Garrity is no stranger to the USHL, professional and collegiate athletics sports. He has worked for several high-profile professional sports organizations and leagues at a senior-level. Garrity is the founder and CEO of Quan Sports Marketing in Stillwater, Minnesota and also President/CEO of the Sioux Falls Sports, LLC., which owns and operates the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede and Northern League Baseball’s Sioux Falls Canaries. He has helped both Sioux Falls sports organizations with substantially increased attendance numbers and sponsorship revenues.
The Madison, Wisconsin community is a “hotbed” for hockey development with a successful history and team named the “Madison Capitols.” Madison formerly had a USHL team from 1984-1995. 12 players who skated in Madison during that time period ended up competing in the National Hockey League. The Capitols have been playing junior hockey in Madison since 1984.
“I am so excited about the USHL playing in Madison where I have so many friends, memories and deep hockey roots,” said Suter who had a standout career at Wisconsin and currently is an NHL All-Star defenseman with the Minnesota Wild. “This is a new and unique opportunity for me to be an owner and investor and I believe in the product and the great staff that is being assembled. I look forward to the first game and the support of the great hockey fans in the Madison area.”
Ryan Suter comes from deep hockey blood-lines in the state of Wisconsin as his father, Bob Suter, is a former Badgers star in the late 1970’s and a member of the 1977 Wisconsin National Championship hockey team along with a 1980 Gold Medal as a member of the US Olympic Ice Hockey Team. Besides Ryan, Bob’s son, Garett currently plays hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Bob Suter’s younger brother Gary was a top-performer at Wisconsin and played in over 1,000 NHL games with several clubs.
Sagissor, a former Badger hockey standout who was a member of the 1990 National Championship hockey team and also went on to play professional with the Montreal Canadiens organization. He is now a successful Divisional Director for RBC’s Wealth Management Group in Minnesota. He was a fifth round draft pick (96th overall) of the Canadiens in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft after a stellar high school career at Hastings (MN) High School. Sagissor is currently Director of Hockey in the Stillwater (MN) Youth Hockey Association and he serves on the Board of Directors for “Defending the Blue Line” non-profit organization assisting military families in need. Sagissor is still an active member in the University of Wisconsin “W” Club that raises funds for Badger Athletics.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime to bring a USHL club to a great hockey community like Madison,” said Sagissor. “I know the fans in this area will love to watch the development of these players over time. We wanted to keep the great tradition with the name Madison Capitols as it means so much to the history of hockey in this marketplace. I cannot wait for the team to drop the puck next fall.”
Added USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince, “We’re excited to bring the USHL to one of the Midwest’s greatest cities and hockey communities. Madison’s ownership and senior-management have already proven themselves to be innovative, focused and committed to making Hockey Night at the Alliant Energy Center a must-see event. We’re counting down the days until a team with the Wisconsin state capital’s name on their sweater hits the home ice. This will be special.”
NHL Draft picks
NHL Draft picks (picked following time in USHL)
1994 – Rocky Welsing – Anaheim (7th round, 158th overall)
1989 – Derek Plante – Buffalo (8th round, 161st overall),
Joe Frederick – Detroit (12th round, 242nd overall)
1987 – Mark Osiecki – Calgary (9th round, 187th overall),
Roger Rougelot – Winnipeg (11th round, 226th overall),
Dan Brettschneider – Washington (11th round, 240th overall)
1985 – Tim Sweeney – Calgary (6th round, 122nd overall)