Multiple sources in the greater Houston metropolitan area are confirming that the Sugar Land Ice And Sports Center is in the process of negotiating with the NA3HL, NAHL or possibly the WSHL to bring junior hockey to Houston.
Sugar Land Ice and Sports was the official training center for the Houston Aeros. The Aeros, who announced that they would be moving out of Houston just three days ago on April 18th, are said to have let Sugar Land Ice know of the move several weeks prior.
Jamie Feltus, General Manager of Sugar Land Ice has publicly acknowleged that they are currently in negotiations to obtain a junior franchise. While that acknowledgement included mention of the NA3HL and NAHL, some sources are indicating that the WSHL may be in play as well.
Feltus also mentions the thought of a 40 game season. This number would lead many to believe that it will be a NA3HL or WSHL franchise. The NAHL plays 60 regular season games including showcase events, while the NA3HL and WSHL play just under 50 games including showcase events.
With USA Hockey having strict rules on expansion, any move to the NA3HL or NAHL would have to be a relocation or an existing or activation of a dormant franchise.
The WSHL, not operating under any expansion rules within AAU’s structure would be a much easier approval process.
It appears fairly obvious now that Houston will have some form of hockey next season, it is now only a matter of which league they will play within.
TJHN will update this story as more information becomes available.