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Charlotte Checkers...


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The Checkers were originally the Baltimore Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League. When Baltimore's arena burned down they relocated to Charlotte and the original Charlotte (now Bojangles) Coliseum in 1956. They were so well-recieved in Charlotte they decided to make their new permanent home here and became the Charlotte Clippers around 1957. A few seasons later they changed their name to the Charlotte Checkers and the name stuck until, after stints in the Eastern and Southern Hockey Leagues, the SHL folded in 1977 and with it so did the "original" Checkers franchise.

In 1988, a new minor hockey league was founded called the East Coast Hockey League and five years later in 1993, Charlotte received an expansion franchise. In a name-the-team contest, the Checkers nickname was chosen, probably in tribute to the original team.

Now, to actually answer your question, a few seasons in, the new Checkers decided they needed a mascot, so a polar bear named "Chubby" was chosen. A polar bear is on the original 1993 logo which would evolve and become the logo that is used for the new AHL team.

I don't think there is supposed to be a true connection between polar bears and the Checkers nickname, but it has stood the test of league changes and almost two decades, so I doubt it's going to change anytime soon.

Checkers is a much simpler, more fast paced game like hockey. Chess, though more challenging, is more psychological and slower like baseball.

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