What You Need to Know About the Savannah Ghost Pirates

Ghosts and now Pirates? What is happening in 912?

Introducing the Newest Affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights: The Savannah Ghost Pirates

The Ghost Pirates are the first-ever indoor ice hockey team in Savannah. This venture came to life when the city of Savannah came to an agreement with the Jacksonville Icemen owner, Andy Kaufman, to place an expansion team for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.

To ensure that the community and future fans were a part of this team from its inception, the owner worked with local media outlets to solicit more than 3,000 entries in a contest to name the team. This is how the Ghost Pirates’ name originated.

The Pirates are a minor league team, if you’re not familiar with ice hockey. The minor league is a professional sports league that is not regarded as a premier league, meaning there is a step above them which is the NHL.

The Ghost Pirates are currently in the ECHL, formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League. ECHL started as a mini five-team league in 1988 and has since grown to 28 teams located along the east coast, as far west as Utah, and as far north as Quebec. The ECHL has one other Georgia-based team, The Atlanta Gladiators, based in Gwinnett County.

On May 19, 2022, the Ghost Pirates announced a one-year affiliation for the 2022–2023 season with the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League. After a long-awaited opening day that included merchandise, music, and season tickets.

Head coach Rick Bennett previously guided Union College of Albany, New York, for 11 seasons, with two Frozen Four (semifinal) appearances including the 2014 NCAA Division I national championship. The Union College Dutchmen were 192-133-45 under his care.

“We are proud to be sending our players to develop with the Savannah organization,” said Tim Speltz, the general manager of the Henderson Silver Knights, who will be heavily involved in running the front office operations for the Ghost Pirates.

The team is gearing up for an exciting season with the name, home rank, and schedule finalized. Home games will be played at the Enmarket Arena. However, the arena has been a controversial topic based on the location being inaccessible in terms of transportation for locals not looking to drive.

“Being from Philadelphia, I sure could get used to seeing some hockey in the winter. While I can’t say I quite expected a team to land here, I am surely not opposed to it,” said Francis German, a recent season ticket buyer.

Bringing an ice hockey team to Savannah would make the Ghost Pirates the only professional sports organization in the city. This expansion is creating more employment opportunities in addition to gaining attraction to local restaurants and businesses.

“See, I don’t know anything about ice hockey but we sure can and will be supporting. I can appreciate anything that is helping the city out in any manner,” said Donna Steele.

Steele is a manager at Spanky’s located on River Street. Spanky’s was able to strike a deal with the arena to be able to set up their own portable concession stand during games and select events.

The Savannah Ghost Pirates will begin play of their 36-game home schedule at the Enmarket Arena beginning November fourth. The Ghost Pirates’ first head-to-head clash is against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Players and fans have already started chiming in with bits of trash talk from each side on the Swamp Rabbits’ Instagram.

“At the end of the day, the bar we are setting here from the first minute of our first game is that we will be competitive and play our hearts out each and every night. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we will win the 2023 Kelly Cup but I can tell you we will be busting our behinds,” said Director of Community Relations & Game Presentation Bryan Sklover.

“I hope that fans realize that the style and level of competition will not be the same as the recent Savannah Bananas baseball team. The Bananas are on ESPN for dancing and acting, not their baseball skills. These young men such as my son are looking to get to the next level,” said Kimmy Lowe.

Lowe’s son Jeff, a 26-year-old from Providence, Rhode Island, will be the starting forward for the Ghost Pirates.

Unlike the typical Savannah ghosts that you fear, the Ghost Pirates are looking to make their mark in the living aspect of entertainment. For more information visit the Ghost Pirates Hockey website.