Major League Roller Hockey has announced the awarding
of it's Las Vegas franchise to Joel Hoopaugh, a Las Vegas
businessman with a strong hockey background.
Hoopaugh comes to MLRH with great hockey credentials,
having played for McGill University in Montreal and then on
to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, playing for the
Olympiques de Gatineau.
It was a road less traveled for Joel Hoopaugh, who played
ice hockey growing up in Northern California, with a Dublin,
CA team that went on to win their age group state
championship. Not many players make the transition from
California ice hockey to the Quebec Major Juniors but
Hoopaugh made the move and made the team.
With a deep love of the game but also aware that the NHL
would not come calling and facing an uncertain minor league
option, Hoopaugh enlisted in the United States Marine Corps
and he loved it--putting in a 12 year stint in the service of
After leaving the service with a dream of being his own boss
and rekindling his passion for hockey, Hoopaugh decided to
open a rink with a pro team that just might need a coach
who has been around some serious hockey.
"I did my research and everything led me to Major League Roller Hockey," said Hoopaugh. "It is the most professional roller hockey organization and a perfect vehicle to showcase my new rink in Las Vegas. The Rink is formally known as Slapshot Roller Hockey of Las Vegas and is due to open in June of this year."
When told that Las Vegas would be in the same division as the three-time champion Breakaway Bullies, Hoopaugh laughed and said "We look forward to the challenge."
His love of hockey may only be exceeded by his love of America, having created a national non-profit organization that specializes in helping military veterans find employment and housing after their military careers come to an end. Hoopaugh is engaged in every facet of the organization and takes special pleasure in helping veterans seeking work and a bright future.
In making the announcement, MLRH Commissioner Doug Jones said, "You can tell that this is going to be a class operation run by a first class guy."