Michigan Warriors Update

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Michigan Warriors Update

The Michigan Warriors have made several public statements about their future in the NAHL recently. Statements made to several news outlets, on the Warriors official website and on their blog.

There is no question that team owner Pat McEachern would like to keep the Warriors in Flint Michigan. A significant investment in the team as a business and in the community has been made over the last two seasons. No one believes or has said McEachern wants to walk away from that investment.

Reports continue to be made that the Warriors are making every effort to return to Flint for the 2012-2013 season and beyond. How that happens is up to the players involved at the business bargaining table.

McEachern and Jim cain,who runs Firland Management, the company which owns Perani Arena, are attempting to formulate a partnership that joins the two business entities together. There may also be a third party involved that would assist with marketing, and branding. This negotiation process is good news for the team and the NAHL. Parties at a table show a desire to try to continue working together.

The elephant in the room could be the fans desire in Flint to see minor pro hockey return. TJHN has learned that Cain has been contacted by more than one group looking to place a minor pro franchise in Perani arena for the 2012 season and beyond. One group is lead by strong local ownership. Providing an out for the arena in replacing on tenant with another could present a bargaining issue to over come.

Cain however also owns an arena in Lewiston Maine. The arena in Maine has hosted a handful of Federal Hockey League games this season. Some of these games have been relatively well attended, and the FHL has stated publicly that they want to place a team in Lewiston next season. Cain has said that he would like to see the USHL in Maine.

The USHL does not look to be moving toward the east coast within the recent future. Should the NAHL succeed in securing Johnstown PA, it would open eastern gateway that much more after the placement of Jamestown NY last season.

Speculation would general be that NAHL experience with the Warriors, and FHL experience, should provide Cain with a certain comfort level in one group over another. Which group that is remains unclear. It is Mr. Cain that can make the decision that will determine the future of hockey in Flint and Lewiston. McEachern is after all the owner of a tenant in Cains building, a tenant can only negotiate and hope the landlord will come to agreeable terms.

If Cain does want to continue his pursuit of a USHL franchise in Lewiston, one could come to the conclusion that his continued effort to support the Warriors in Flint would then show USA Hockey, and by inference the USHL that his company is one that is committed to junior hockey development. That action, although indirect, could provide a base in which to build a USHL application in the future.

If fans are looking to McEachern for answers may be looking in the wrong direction. The decision will in the end come to Jim Cain. Such a decision would be best made sooner rather than later.

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