Topeka hockey comeback may be on thin ice

Plans to bring hockey back to Topeka may already be on thin ice.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 3:35 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Plans to bring hockey back to Topeka may already be on thin ice.

Mathew Torgerson, who announced the effort on a podcast and created a Twitter account for the team Wednesday afternoon, took to social media late Wednesday night to say he’s now parted ways with the group.

Torgerson said he learned new information about the head of Hammerstone Holdings, Brian Touchstone, that raised credibility issues.

“I truly thought I was in the right place following the right person who needed and saw value in my skills and knowledge,” Torgerson wrote. “I thought things were being done with proper business men behind it all and at this time I cannot say for sure if they are or aren’t.”

Torgerson said in a podcast Wednesday that Hammerstone Holdings was in talks with the FPHL (Federal Prospect Hockey League) to bring the Golden City Bombers to Topeka as an expansion team. They said they hoped to have the team up and running in time for the 2023/2024 season. The podcast has since been removed, and the lone tweet on the @GCBombers account is now deleted.

13 NEWS also heard back Thursday from the FPHL. They said they received a request for an application for an expansion team in Topeka, but it has not been returned. When and if it is returned, the league says their executive committee would need to approve.

Stormont Vail Events Center general manager Kellen Seitz confirmed Wednesday that he’d spoken with a group interested in bringing a hockey team back to Topeka. However, he said everything was in the early stages, with nothing confirmed.

13 NEWS has twice reached Touchstone by phone. Both times he said he was busy, but would call back.

Topeka last had a hockey team from 2018 to 2020. The Topeka Pilots played at the SVEC until their second season was cut short by the COVID pandemic. They’d already announced plans to relocate to Kansas City for what would have been their 2020-2021 season. Before that, Topeka hosted various teams, including the RoadRunners, Tarantulas and Scarecrows.