Wednesday was a sad day for New England hockey.

The Manchester Monarchs, the longtime New Hampshire-based affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, announced plans to cease operations due to ongoing financial issues. The Monarchs served as the Kings’ AHL affiliate from 2001 until 2015, when the franchise shifted gears and became the the organization’s East Coast Hockey League affiliate.

Here’s an excerpt from a statement shared on the Monarchs’ website:

“To our loyal fans and partners … Your enthusiasm and support has been great and is appreciated by all of us. After many years of investment and financial support, first from the Los Angeles Kings organization, and ultimately by a subsequent investor group, and after seeking assistance from the city, state, and (SNHU Arena), we have collectively decided this was our final season.

” … Beyond the hockey, watching our fans enjoy a night out with family, friends, and colleagues has been rewarding. We have been privileged to collaborate with several incredible components of our community — from schools to youth hockey to local non-profit organizations — and we have enjoyed being able to provide the Monarchs organization to help them achieve their goals especially through the Monarchs Care Foundation.

“Once again, thank you for your support, loyalty, and for all the memories we shared together.”

It’s easy to forget, but the Monarchs once were a big deal in New England, and the organization’s role both in the New Hampshire community and in the local hockey scene can’t be understated.