TJHN has learned that organizations that were initially denied expansion applications during the USA Hockey winter meeting last month, are having their appeals heard on Friday February 15th.
Upon denial, each applicant had two weeks to file an appeal to the USA Hockey Junior Council Expansion Appeal Commitee. Following the appeal filing, other interested parties are afforded time to respond to the appeal.
TJHN has learned that one appeal being heard is concerning the Chicago Junior Bulldogs affiliate members of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. The Bulldogs are allegedly seeking to relinquish that affiliation with the MNJHL for full membership within the NA3HL.
TJHN reached out to Bulldogs Owner Ken Kestas last night via phone call. Mr. Kestas has not returned our call as of this time.
Sources within the MNJHL have informed TJHN that MNJHL President Ralph Hayne will continue to object to the Bulldogs switching leagues during the appeal process. Not wanting to have an odd number of teams in the Great Lakes Division of the MNJHL for scheduling purposes is one of the reasons for objecting.
The MNJHL is armed with more power this year than in previous years. Hayne will allegedly be representing 15 other teams when making his objection. Having eight former Grat Lakes Junior Hockey League members become affiliates of the MNJHL last summer may pay dividends this year. Representihng such a large number of teams will make sure his voice is heard. On the other hand, since the former GLJHL teams are only affiliates of the MNJHL and not full members of the league, Hayne may not technically be able to voice an objection on their behalf.
TJHN will update this story as more information becomes available.