Battle Creek hockey team shuts down after one season
By: Mike Stiles - Saturday, June 20, 2020

Battle Creek Rumble Bees GM and coach Adam Stio (photo courtesy of Battle Creek Rumble Bees)

(BATTLE CREEK) - More than 120 teams played professional hockey in North America during the 2019-20 season. List them in order of total games won and scroll down, all the way to the bottom, and you'll find a team called the Battle Creek Rumble Bees. Their 1-45-2 record looks like a mistake in the standings for the Federal Prospects Hockey League (FPHL), which represents the lowest rung of professional hockey in the U.S. But it's real. And the club based in Battle Creek, Michigan, didn't just forfeit a bunch of games. The first-year team really played 48 times, and it really did lose 47 of them (45 in regulation, two in overtime). One win in 48 tries, good for a .021 win percentage. Among the many cartoonish stats, the Rumble Bees were outscored 304-94 for a minus-210 goal differential. They allowed more than six goals per game while managing to average just two of their own. They gave up nearly 100 more goals than the next closest team in the standings, and opposing power plays beat their penalty-killing unit a third of the time. Only two Battle Creek players hit double digits in goals on the season. The season came to a merciful conclusion when the coronavirus pandemic forced the FPHL to suspend operations on March 13. Maybe the Rumble Bees missed out on a few more chances to win. More likely, it was the only way a season like that could end. As if stomaching a 47-loss season weren't enough, there would be one more gut punch for the eternally positive Adam Stio. The GM and team coach said he was surprised to receive a call from another team official seeking input on an early June afternoon. The official wanted to know who on the Battle Creek roster was worth selecting in the dispersal draft.
That was how Stio learned he would be Battle Creek's first and last GM. The Bees were folding, and the league was preparing to hold a dispersal draft to allow the remaining nine teams to pick apart the Bees' roster. Just as quickly as they had entered the FPHL, the Rumble Bees were out. The team already is absent on the league website, missing from the masthead and the 2020-21 standings.