On May 15, 2013, it was announced that the Thunder, along with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen, would move to the Southern Professional Hockey League for the 2013–14 season. The Rivermen had been notified that the Vancouver Canucks, who had purchased the team a month earlier, would not keep them in Peoria. The two teams will reportedly be owned by two former Rivermen executives, John Butler, Bart Rogers and David Holt with financial backing from former Rivermen owner Bruce Saurs.
Though the Thunder played at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, the franchise was not a continuation of the PrairieThunder franchise. The former head coach, Jason Christie, resigned before the season started. He is now the Coach for the Ontario Reign of the ECHL.
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