Wednesday August 26th, 2015

It’s not every day that a minor league hockey team goes viral on Twitter. Then again, it’s not every day that a team changes its name to the Swamp Rabbits.

Social media mentions were multiplying like, well, rabbits when the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors announced on Wednesday that they had dumped the nickname they’d used since their move to the city in 2010 for one that colorfully connects the franchise to an historic train line.

“We determined that we wanted our new identity to honor a piece of Greenville’s history while also being relevant within the community today,” said Fred Festa, owner of the Swamp Rabbits. “Ultimately, we selected the Swamp Rabbits because the name holds dear to a variety of residents, businesses, popular recreational areas and the historic landmark, the Swamp Rabbit railroad, dating back the 1920s in Greenville.”

The railroad, which linked the South Carolina city with the coal fields of Tennessee, became known as the “Swamp Rabbit” by locals who would use the freight train as a means of transportation to picnic in northern Greenville County.

“We think the Swamp Rabbits will symbolize the competitive spirit of our players,” said general manager Chris Lewis, whose team is the AA affiliate of the New York Rangers. “We want our brand to best reflect what a night out at a hockey game is all about, which is fun and excitement for the entire community.”

Not sure if an old railroad does the trick, but the new logo sure does. A feisty cottontail with a carrot hockey stick? Hands down, one of the best in the minors.

Well done, Greenville.

GALLERY: The 10 Greatest NHL Logos of All Time

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