While it would appear that Josh Mervis has indeed sold his interest in the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, who the Lumberjacks have been sold to remains unconfirmed. Well, kind of unconfirmed.
Multiple sources are now saying that Chris and Peter Ferraro along with Joel Friedman of Clearview Capital Management, LLC and Ronald Friedman of SilvermanAcampora, LLP. are involved in the purchase of the USHL franchise.
The Ferraro Brothers are in the process of developing the Ferraro Brothers Arena on Long Island New York. Joel and Ronald Friedman are also involved in the development and financing of the multi use facility.
Joel Friedman specializes in capital management and investments. Particularly Joel Friedman is known for taking over distressed or companies experiencing limited growth and turning those companies around to profitability.
Ronald Friedman’s involvement in SilvermanAcampora LLP, appears to focus on real estate and asset management, as well as complex litigation.
What is clear from the Friedmans potential involvement is they would have the connections to a vast capital generating network. Such a network would make USHL ownership financial requirements an easy formality.
What we know about the Ferraro brothers is that they are committed to junior hockey. Both played in the USHL, and they now operate another junior hockey franchise in the Long Island Gulls of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.
Connecting the dots from Long Island to Muskegon;
What TJHN can confirm is that the Ferraro brothers were in Muskegon for the NHL top prospects game just a few months ago.
The Long Island Gulls had four players drafted in Phase 1 of the USHL this year. Several sources are saying that the Ferraro brothers were directly involved in providing scouting information on these players to the teams drafting them.
The number seven over all pick in Phase 1 of the USHL draft was a Long Island Gulls player and that player was picked by the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Six USHL teams will be playing games at the Ferraro Brothers Ice Center September 6th through 8th as part of the FBIC opening and will be called the USHL Atlantic Challenge. TJHN has been informed by confidential sources that the Lumberjacks are tenatively slated to be one of the participating teams.
Another source has reported on connections within the Muskegon organization that lead back to the East Coast that may prove to have been influential in the process of securing a new ownership group.
While TJHN has reached out for offical comments, USHL and Lumberjacks staff will not go on record to confirm or deny any reports or information we have obtained. TJHN also reached out to the Ferraro’s and they are not able to be reached at this time, or can not answer voicemail due to travel or being on the ice.
Meanwhile, Josh Mervis is said to be on his way home to Indiana. Multiple sources are confirming that he was informing friends and collegues as early as two weeks ago that he would be “moving on”.
Official word on the Ownership as well as the Head Coaching position in Muskegon is expected shortly. With Muskegon Lumberjacks open camp starting one week from today and main camp opening on wednesday June 12th, the team will likely make a release this week if not within the next 48 hours.
TJHN will update this story as more information becomes available.