My wife and I have been avid hockey fans since the Johnstown Jets in 1970. We followed the Johnstown Chiefs for over 20 years until their demise. I never imagined it could happen, but we have been more than pleased to be Nailers fans for the last three years. We have thoroughly enjoyed all our games in Wheeling the past three seasons. The staff and players are friendly. The team's home record this year is very good. The organization has been and still is a good one.
Johnstown lost their Chiefs due to a lack of attendance. This year their new team, the Tomahawks, is a NAHL tier 2 junior team. Having seen both levels of hockey, I can tell you without a doubt that the quality of NAHL in no way compares to the professional ECHL Nailers you have in Wheeling. It seems that the Johnstown community has come together to support hockey having learned the lesson of losing a team that was considered their own team three years ago.
I estimate I have seen well over 500 ECHL games over the years. If there is anything I have learned in this time, it is that teams in this league at the very bottom of league attendance don't last for long. Johnstown's hockey community didn't think the Chiefs would ever leave town. They did. It can happen.
Wheeling needs to realize what a great asset the Nailers are. Fans need to show their support. Like the Johnstown fans you may not realize what you have until you have lost it.
By the way, the average attendance for the Tomahawks in Johnstown this season is higher than the average attendance for the Nailers. The hockey fans in Wheeling should "feel shame" in that information.