The Manchester Monarchs; The New Hampshire Legends of Hockey; Jeff Eisenberg.
Those three names now are bound together, an inseparable trio, just like Athos, Porthos and Aramis.
The seed of that alliance fell in fertile soil in September of 2000 when Jeff arrived in town, a full 14 months before the Monarchs debuted on Verizon Wireless Arena. At the time, the Arena was still a work in progress, as were the Monarchs, and much remained to be done.
Jeff was hired by the LA Kings of the NHL and came to Manchester as the Monarch president and first employee. Earlier, the Kings had purchased a dormant AHL franchise that once operated in Cornwallis, Ontario. The Kings then struck a deal to create a new AHL team with the Verizon Center as home ice.
Initially, Jeff was without an official workspace but still handily pulled together all of the pieces and, right on schedule, the Monarchs debuted on November 16, 2001. Before reaching Verizon Wireless Arena, though, the team had to play 13 road games, having made its AHL debut October 6.
During the 14-month push to unveil the Monarchs to the home crowd, Jeff wanted to establish a strong relationship in the community and initially contacted local enthusiasts, Francoise Elise and Dick Boucher. The trio talked; plans were formed; and soon they co-founded and drafted bylaws for The Legends of New Hampshire Hockey. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Prior to arriving in Manchester, Jeff had created an impressive work credential. It began in 1978 when he left Vanderbilt University with a bachelors degree in economics. By 1980, he was the Holyoke Millers’ assistant general manager in professional baseball’s Eastern League. He quickly moved up to the Majors, joining the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981 to work in marketing and information systems. While with the Phillies, he pursued a masters degree in sports management, receiving that degree in 1983 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
By 1991, he was vice president of baseball ticket sales in the Milwaukee Brewers front office. At that time, the Brewers were still an American League Central team.
In 1995, Jeff moved out of the realm of professional baseball and into the National Hockey League, joining the Buffalo Sabres front-office team as vice president of sales and marketing. In 1998, he became president of the Portland (ME) Pirates.
It was a 22-year employment run that set the stage for all of his successes with the Monarchs.
Among his and the organization’s many accolades: Jeff received the 2004 James Hendy Award as the AHL’s Executive of the Year – the Monarchs received the 2005 PRISM Award as the most outstanding Minor League franchise – the Monarchs, for eight consecutive years, were voted New Hampshire’s Favorite Pro Sports Team – the team twice has been the AHL attendance leader, averaging 8000-plus fans per game.
In March of this year, after 10 years of hard work that produced nine successful AHL hockey seasons, Jeff departed as Monarchs’ president.
He now owns Eisenberg, Vital & Ryze Advertising in Manchester.
Jeff resides in Bedford with his wife Carole and their three children: Matt, Kara and Alex.