Can hockey make it in Richmond? That was the overarching question of a feature in our June/July 1990 issue, just months after businessman Allan B. Harvie Jr. launched the Richmond Renegades, a franchise in the East Coast Hockey League.
THE STORY SINCE: The team opened its season that October and christened the most successful run Richmond hockey fans have seen yet. The 'Gades lasted till 2003, while changing owners several times, and along the way the team captured a conference championship and a league championship.
But the franchise folded in 2003.
The next three seasons brought a new team, the Riverdogs, who played in the United Hockey League and opened strong in '03-'04 with an Eastern Division title and a trip to the playoffs. Richmond's fifth hockey team since 1971 called it quits in 2006.
That same year, Harvie resurrected the Renegades as a franchise in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
It's been 18 years since we first posed the question, and given the history of revolving franchise owners, we asked Harvie again: Is hockey making it in Richmond?
Since 1990, he says, "Hockey hasn't left. We've made the playoffs every single year I've been here. I would say that's not a bad go." And 19 years, he notes, is "longer than most marriages last."