PETER K: Hockey’s Orlando Solar Bears Are Back
By Peter Kerasotis // December 9, 2012
PETER K IN ORLANDO MAGAZINE
Published: December 2012
By PETER KERASOTIS
It felt like opening a book that had been shut for years, brushing away the dust, rereading the last few pages from where the bookmark lay, just to get up to speed, and then diving back into the delicious narrative.
The story never ended for the Solar Bears; the final chapter was never read. It was merely an interruption. The puck didn’t really stop. Not here.
This is what Bob Ohrablo was hoping—banking on, really—when he and two partners, Jason Siegel and Joe Haleski, went where they had never gone before, into sports franchise ownership. And while they loved hockey, there was no particular relationship with Orlando, other than what they remembered about the Solar Bears, a minor league team that once upon a time thrived in the International Hockey League.
But when the league folded in 2001, and the Solar Bears along with it, it ended a fun and frenetic fan-fueled run of success that had begun in 1995. Ohrablo likes to say the Solar Bears merely went into hibernation. In fact, he likes saying it so much that he and his partners made “Out of hibernation’’ a marketing slogan.