I’ve always wondered why San Francisco doesn’t have an NHL team. Being a former ice hockey player myself, ahem, I’ve never found the time nor desire to trek to San Jose for a hockey game (or, for anything for that matter except, well, sun…and golf…ok, never mind).
Well, times are a changing, as it was announced that the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) recently franchised the San Francisco Bulls to play in the Bay Area, with home games slated for the Cow Palace in Daly City. It will be the first ice hockey team to represent SF since the San Francisco Spiders, who played one season in 1995-96 before filing for bankruptcy due to poor attendance, among other things. Hey, it may be the minor leagues, but Wayne Gretzky had to start somewhere too. In fact, any player signed to an entry-level NHL contract has to report to a club in the ECHL (one tier below the AHL).
Why they chose a bull as the mascot and name, I have no idea, because when you Google “San Francisco” and “bull,” the first thing that comes up is a Yelp review for The Bashful Bull, a restaurant in the Outer Sunset categorized as “burgers” and “American (traditional).” Is there such a thing as non-traditional American cuisine? Well, then I decided to Google that (and hoped a Wikipedia page would pop up), and the first thing that popped up was a Wikipedia page - on Thanksgiving dinner. Huh?
Maybe the name Bulls was preferred to Bison (after the serene creatures who lounge in Golden Gate Park) because serene and hockey don’t mix so well. Regardless, I, for one, am excited to have hockey 20 minutes away. Now, the Cow Palace not only gets to play host to weed, guns, and raves, but it gets to entertain with fist fights and incredibly skilled athletes. Look, most people in the Bay don’t even know how to ice skate (see Embarcadero Center's ice rink during the holidays if you don't believe me) let alone maneuver a puck between two short goal posts at the same time. Go support our newest professional team!