NAHL Expansion And Relocation

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NAHL Expansion and Relocation – Houston

Every year, usually every summer, the NAHL seems to either be adding more teams or relocating teams that are struggling in their current markets. Many opinions have been and will continue to be expressed about the leagues actions regarding these matters, but one thing is for certain, expansion and relocation is not going to stop any time soon.

The Junior Hockey News has learned that the Houston Texas area is one of the next target city’s for the NAHL. Reliable sources have confirmed that an application has been made to either relocate a current franchise or issue a new franchise license for the Houston area. The application was made prior to the December 15th deadline issued by USA Hockey for application submission.

NAHL franchises rumored that could be on the move include Flint (Michigan Warriors), Traverse City Northstars, Jamestown Ironmen, and the New Mexico Mustangs. If one or more of the teams based in what is now the North division are relocated through a sale, it could force the hands of other teams in that division to make decisions on their NAHL futures.

The NAHL has been very aggressive in the last few years when it comes to placing franchises in Texas. With the league headquarters in Frisco Texas, adding a Houston based team makes a lot of sense.

With a Houston based franchise, Central Hockey League team owners will become that much more interested in the NAHL. Rio Grande and Laredo could be quick to move to the NAHL through purchasing an existing franchise.

Although the USA Hockey expansion and relocation application deadline passed on December 15th, exigent circumstances that would allow for an existing NAHL franchise to be moved by a sale to one of these Texas locations could easily be found. An fairly easy argument could be made by the NAHL that moving a current NAHL franchise to a market that is leaving pro hockey would be an exigent circumstance. Particularly when those franchises already have an arena and experienced operational staff in place.

Stay tuned to TJHN as this story develops.

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