We have made it no secret here that we support any and all Tier II or free to play expansion. Whether its the NAHL, NCDC or Canadian Junior A, we will always get behind those opportunities.
Its been a while since the NAHL had the ability to look seriously at expansion in multiple markets at the same time. Will 2018 be the year?
If you talk to multiple sources in the Danbury Connecticut hockey community, they believe the NAHL is coming.
Long known to be one of the best hockey communities in New England, Danbury has to potentially be the model franchise in the North East. That is, if the facility rent and security costs have finally come down to earth.
Minor pro hockey has been tried in the past. Though it always has had great fan support, costs to operate have been ridiculous and have killed off a number of franchises. Going the junior hockey route and eliminating workman’s comp insurance costs could be the one big thing that makes any Danbury team a success.
Elmira New York is also getting some play in the rumor mill. Its doubtful though that an NAHL franchise would be willing to take on what is universally known as a death stroke of an arena lease. When smart, deep pocketed minor pro owners walk away from a historical franchise and location, people need to examine why.
Rumors are also being spread in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area that another NAHL franchise may be on the way. One would have to wonder if this is a relocation of the dormant Wichita Falls Wildcats franchise.
Finally, there is a buzz in Alaska. Though details remain very sketchy, many sources are talking about a rumored third Alaska based team. Though the rumors in Danbury and Dallas have potential owners names attached to the teams, there is no one rumored to be attached to another Alaska team. This could be wishful thinking on the part of some fans hopping to generate some interest.
We will continue to keep an eye on all of these rumors and update you as we learn more following the January USA Hockey meetings.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher