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Local Investor Buys Jacksonville Icemen

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Jacksonville Icemen
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New Owner & CEO Andrew Kaufmann (left) and Team President Bob Ohrablo (light)

The Jacksonville Icemen ECHL hockey team has been sold.

SZH Hockey LLC, which is led by Jacksonville resident Andrew Kaufmann, purchased the minor league hockey team. The terms of the sale weren’t announced. 

“We look forward to growing Icemen Nation to new heights in the years to come. My role will be serving as a steward for what is the community’s team,” said Kaufmann in a news release.

Iceman President Bob Ohrablo is also a member of SZH Hockey LLC. 

Kaufmann also has a majority ownership of the Fort Myers Miracle, a Class A Minor League Baseball team.

In the business world Kaufmann is known for acquiring UST Brands in 2010, which is a provider of survival and camping equipment. He sold it to Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. in 2017 for roughly $32.3 million, according to American Rifleman.

He also started his family’s business, Revere Supply Company, now known as Revere Survival, which is a manufacturer of marine survival products.

The Icemen team, which has completed two seasons in Jacksonville, was originally relocated from Evansville, Indiana, by El Acquisitions, led by Ron Geary.

“On behalf of the League, I’d like to thank Ron Geary for bringing the team to Jacksonville and giving the community the chance to experience ECHL hockey,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin.

The Icemen will open the 2019-2020 season at home on Saturday, Oct. 12, against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.