Looking to cash in on Acadiana’s wild and abundant leisure dollars, Houston real estate developer Curly Munsen has announced plans to start a professional ice hockey franchise in Lafayette. “I’ve already secured franchise rights with the Southwest Hockey Independent Titleholder Association and got the OK to move forward,” Munsen announced at a press conference last week at the Clifton Chenier Center. “All that’s really standing in the way now is getting a venue for the games, naming the team, which we’ll do through a public contest, and of course developing a roster.”

Munsen indicated that SHITA will hold a supplemental draft in June to provide the core of the team, and that he would personally direct player recruitment after that. Then, Munsen said, he will tap the public’s imagination for a name. “I’m hoping they’ll submit ideas that really scream Bayou Country,” the entrepreneur said, “something with a crawfish or a ’gator or Spanish moss.”

The Texan added that he thinks the Cajundome would be an ideal venue for games. “I just feel it in my bones,” he said. “South Louisiana is ready for the fast pace of professional ice hockey. I’ve invested a lot money in this idea, and when I invest, I get results.”
When told by a reporter that Lafayette was home to a professional ice hockey team for a decade — the Louisiana IceGators, which folded in 2005 — Munsen was silent for a moment, then replied: “My partner, Eric Cloutier, didn’t mention that.”

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