Columbus Cottonmouths

Snakes: We're staying

The Columbus Cottonmouths put out a press release Friday afternoon, disputing a report by WEAR, a TV station in Pensacola, Fla., that the team was looking was looking to move to that Gulf Coast city.

WEAR reported that Escambia County administrator Bob McLaughlin told it Thursday that Columbus coach and general manager Jerome Bechard contacted him about the Snakes moving to Pensacola next season.

In the press release, the Snakes said Bechard was representing the Southern Professional Hockey League — the Snakes are a member — as chairman of the board.

The Snakes said that the SPHL is working with an investment group, trying to locate an expansion team in the market.

McLauhglin told the Ledger-Enquirer Friday night that Bechard did contact him in his capacity with the SPHL to set up a meeting for later this month. The SPHL is interested in placing an expansion team in Pensacola, which had been home to an ECHL team until earlier this year.