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|Federal Hockey League|
|Inaugural season||2010–11 FHL season|
|No. of teams||7 (plus 1 expansion team for 2017-18)|
|Most recent champion(s)||Port Huron Prowlers (1st title)|
The Federal Hockey League (FHL) is a professional ice hockey league with teams in the Northeastern United States. The FHL began operations in November 2010. Don Kirnan serves as the league's first commissioner.
The league had a salary cap of $5,050 per week for the 2010-11 season. The roster is limited to 20 players for the first 6 games and 17 thereafter.
In February 2011, the FHL announced for the 2011–12 season they would add new teams in northern Vermont and Illinois. The Green Mountain Rock Crushers (later changed their name to the Vermont Wild) played at theGreen Mountain Arena in Morrisville, Vermont, and the Danville Dashers will play at David S. Palmer Arena in Danville, Illinois. In May 2011, the FHL announced an expansion team to Wayne, New Jersey, called the New Jersey Outlaws. In December 2011 the FHL announced the Delaware Federals would replace the Vermont Wild. They played their first game on December 16, 2011 against Cape Cod.
In May 2012 it was announced that the Brooklyn Aviators were ceasing operations and that an expansion team was being added in Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton Demonz will play at the Hara Arena starting in the 2012-13 season. The Dayton Expansion Draft and the Brooklyn Player Dispersal Draft were both held on June 15. 
In July 2012 it was announced that the defending champion New Jersey Outlaws were relocating to Williamsport, PA, for the 2012-13 season.  Rather than playing in a traditional ice arena, they played outside on a portable ice rink at Bowman Field, home to the minor league baseball team the Williamsport Crosscutters. This venture was unsuccesful as the team folded on January 21, 2013 only to be resurrected by the league as a travel team that will play four road games.
The Cape Cod Bluefins had cancelled several games during December, and finally suspended operations on December 12, 2012. The league created a temporary fill in team called the "Blues" to fill in the dates and then relocated the franchise to Central New York where they became a road team.
On April 11, 2014 the league issued a release announcing a new team in Western Pennsylvania. The league had indicated on its' website that it was planning on adding a second expansion team for the 2014-15 season. originally Connellsville was mentioned for the site of the expansion team, but the Port Huron Fighting Falcons of the North American Hockey League announced they were relocating to Connellsville for the 2014-15 season. The league later announced that they were placing an expansion team in the town of Belle Vernon that will be known as the Southwest Pennsylvania Magic or SWPA Magic.
The Watertown Privateers folded after the 2013-14 season after being unable to locate new local ownership. A new franchise was awarded to local ownership for the 2014-15 season. The new ownership did not want to inherit the team's debt. The ownership chose the name Watertown Wolves on August 8, 2014
On July 14, 2014, the league announced an expansion team for the 2014-15 season to be based out of the Notre Dame Arena in Berlin, New Hampshire. The league was setting up a LLC to own and manage the team until local ownership could be found. This franchise ended up moving to North Adams, Massachusetts and were named the Berkshire Battalion. North Adams was originally supposed to have a franchise in the North Atlantic Professional Hockey League, which was supposed to start with the 2014-15 season, but the league pushed back the start up to 2015-16 to allow for more stable ownership groups. The ownership of the North Adams Black Bears which were supposed to play in the NAPHL tried to gain entry into the FHL for the 2014-15 season but were denied due to the FHL's concern over the financial stability of this team. The 2014-15 season started with some hope as the league grew to six teams for the season, however; this did not last long as the SWPA Magic was pulled from the league after playing just one game (and cancelling a weekend series on October 18th and 19th against the Battalion after playing against the Battion in North Adams the night before. The Berkshire Eagle newspaper reported that the Battalion's games in Pennsylvania were cancelled due to "internal issues" within the Magic ownership made it so that the team was not able to host a game in Greensberg. The league had already requested that the other members of the league help out the Berkshire Battalion and the ownership of the Magic could not contribute. However, the Battalion situation may have cause the league management to pull the team out of the league. The Watertown Wolves posted a tweet stating that their home game on October 25th that was originally scheduled against the Magic was still on but it didn't state against whom. The league was working on getting a team together to fill out the Magic's games on the schedule. As of the morning of October 22, the Magic's team website and Facebook pages have been pulled. The league has not posted anything on the situation as of this point. WWNY television in the Watertown, NY area issued a report with much of the previous information on the morning of October 21st 
The Watertown Daily Times posted an article on October 22, 2014 stating that the Magic's place in the league had been taken by a team being called Steel City Warriors, which was accepted by the league and will play out of the same arena in Greensburg, PA. The league stated in a release, on the same day, that the team will assume the Magic's schedule starting with the game on November 8th. The team will be started from scratch as they are reported to be holding tryouts between the 23rd and their game on the 25th in Watertown.
On May 20, 2015 the Berlin River Drivers were resurected to be an expansion team for the 2015-16 season.
Steel City Warriors announced on April 17,2014 that they were immediately suspending operations. The team stated in their release that they were hoping to rejoin for the 2016-17 season.
The Watertown Wolves are facing an uncertain future as their home arena, the Watertown Municipal Arena is undergoing renovations that may not be completed until January 2016 at the earliest. A June 4th article now states the arena won't be completed until February 2016 and that the Wolves are looking into playing in Clayton, New York at the Cerow Recreation Park Arena for next season. The organization announced on June 22nd that the team will be sitting out the 2015-16 season as no suitable venue in the nearby area was found. The team had stated they had looked at every possiblility within a 40 mile radius of Watertown, including a few locations in Southern Ontario. The team stated it was planning on returning to the league for the 2016-17 season.
The Danbury Whalers were notified by the Danbury Ice Arena on April 3rd that there lease was not being renewed and to vacate the arena by April 17th. The future of the organization at this point was now in question.
The league announced a team to be located in Brewster, New York to be based out of the Brewster Ice Arena which pretty much was a replacement for the Danbury Whalers franchise as announced in the Lohud Journal News website on June 3. The two cities are about 10 miles apart. According to the article the Whalers are considered inactive and that some of the players from Danbury will be part of the Brewster franchise but there will be management changes. Brewster is presently home to the Brewster Bulldogs of the United States Premier 3 Hockey League. Herm Sorcher was the CEO and managing general partner of the Whalers was interviewed by the Danbury News Times and stated that he had "taken the job of general manager for the new FHL team". With the two towns being so close and the fact that a small portion of the Danbury fan base is from Brewster; a return to Danbury for 2015-16 looked highly unlikely. Danbury had lead the league in attendance since its inception, so a new franchise based out of the Danbury Ice Arena may still be a possibility. The new Brewster team was named the Stateline Whalers.
A report in the Berkshire Tribune on June 26, 2015 indicates that the owner was working on merging his franchise with the Danbury team (which is teamless as of the article being written as the new team was not publicly announced at this point) and playing games in both Danbury, CT and Brewster, NY (which is the home of the new franchise that replaced the Danbury franchise). The move may have been brought about by a reduction in the number of Friday night games (from 10 to 3) as the ownership of the rink was claiming financial losses caused by the lack of public skating on Friday nights.
The following day another article on the newstimes.com website stated that Danbury was approved for a new team to be based out of the Danbury Ice Arena. The team was aquired by Danbury resident Bruce Bennett. He stated in a phone interview that the franchise was apporved by the league on Thursday (June 25th) and that he signed a 6 year lease to play at the Danbury Ice Arena. Additional ownership included William Dadds, who owned (past tense) the Berkshire Battalion. and Edward Crowe. The new franchise will be coached by former Danbury Whalers coach Phil Esposito, who had resigned as coach during the dispute between the Whalers and the Danbury Ice Arena management (Eagle Ice Sports). Bennett is looking for input on a new name for the team which is completely seperate from the Danbury Whalers.
On July 27, 2015 the website oursportscentral.com listed a new Federal Hockey League team called the Dayton Demolition. There was no accompanying article annoucing the team but rumors were circulating that William Dadds, the owner of the previous season's Berkshire Battalion and a partner in the new Danbury Titans franchise was looking to start up a team "out west". The previous owner of the Dayton Demonz was now involved in the new Port Huron Prowlers. The league had annouced on June 4th that the league was going to operate a team based out of the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio but now the team will be operated by William Dadds.
In late December 2016, the Dayton Demolition relocated from the Hara Arena in Dayton to South Metro Sports in suburban Centerville, Ohio a December 31, 2015 news article in the Dayton Daily News cited financial distress as the reason for the move. On January 6, 2016 the Hara Arena's facebook page stated that the team had reached an agreement to return to the arena for the balance of the season. The team only played one game in Centerville. The league terminiated the ownership group of the team on January 17, 2016 and took over operation of the team pending the finding of new ownership.
On May 1, 2016 the league announced the addition of a team to be based in St. Clair Shores, Michigan out of the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena. The city along with the new team and the local St. Clair Shores Hockey Association are contributing to get four new locker rooms built at the facility. The team announced that the team will be named on May 18th and that the team will begin play in the fall of 2016.
Mid-July 2016 was not kind to league membership. The Brewster Bulldogs announced they were suspending operations for the season. Owner Bruce Bennett cited the strain on himself in operating two teams at this level. He did say that the organization may be back in 2017 after talks with the Brewster Ice Arena and an unnamed gentleman. The previous day the team formerly known as the Dayton Demolition announced they would not be playing for the 2016-17 season due to arena availability and lack of lead up time to get the organization back on track after acquiring the team earlier in the year after the previous ownership had run into some hardships.
On August 19, 2016 the league announced an expansion team to be based out of the Lawrence Joel Coliseum Annex to begin play with the 2017-18 season. The organization has announced a September 7, 2016 press conference to be held at the arena to announce the ownership, team name and logo.
On September 16, 2016 the league announced another expansion team to be based out of the Ed Lumley Arena in Cornwall, Ontario. The team announced that they would be called the Cornwall Nationals. The team wil start play with the 2016-17 season.
League future in doubtEdit
According to an article in the April 17, 2015 edition of the Watertown Daily Times, the future of the league itself is now in question as the league is under a federal court order to pay $800,000 to former Danville Dasher player Kyler Mohe as the result of an injury that rendered him legally blind. The lawsuit stated that "during game play, Michael Stacey, a player for the Akwesasne Warriors, made an illegal maneuver by lifting his hockey stick and thrusting the blade end forcefully under Kyler Moje's helmet." and "Mr. Stacey's blade penetrated (Moje's) eye, blinding him." The suit alleges that the league was negligent in allowing the Akwesasne team to play in a game as the team had already been involved in several games in 2012 that resulted in suspension of players.The suit was filed in January 2014, the judgement was issued in October and was appealed by the league in December. The league is a limited liability corporation and may be forced to fold or re-organize under a different name.
The league has seven teams (plus one team planned as an expansion team for 2017-18) based in the northeast and upper Midwest portions of the United States.
|Berlin River Drivers||2015||Notre Dame Arena||1,680||Berlin, New Hampshire|
|Cornwall Nationals||2016||Cornwall Civic Complex||5,000||Cornwall, Ontario|
|Danbury Titans||2015||Danbury Ice Arena||3,005||Danbury, Connecticut|
|Danville Dashers||2011||David S. Palmer Arena||2,350||Danville, Illinois|
|Port Huron Prowlers||2015||McMorran Place||3,400||Port Huron, Michigan|
|St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints||2016||St Clair Shores Civic Arena||1,000||St. Clair Shores, Michigan|
|Watertown Wolves||2014||Watertown Municipal Arena||2,000||Watertown, New York|
|Carolina Thunderbirds||2016||LJVM Coliseum Annex||3,500||Winston-Salem, North Carolina|
- 2010–11 - Akwesasne Warriors
- 2011–12 - New Jersey Outlaws
- 2012-13 - Danbury Whalers
- 2013-14 - Dayton Demonz
- 2014-15 - Watertown Wolves
- 2015-16 - Port Huron Prowlers
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 FHL Fact Sheet. Federal Hockey League. Retrieved on October 14, 2011.
- ↑ FHL Frequently Asked Questions. Federal Hockey League. Retrieved on October 14, 2011.
- ↑ Lindsay, Joy. "Barons Leave Broome County", December 17, 2010. Retrieved on October 14, 2011. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011.
- ↑ Cape Cod has a hockey team!. Cape Cod Today (January 1, 2011). Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved on October 14, 2011.
- ↑ Pitarresi, John. "Frenzy season ends; team might leave Rome", February 9, 2010. Retrieved on October 14, 2011. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. The Federal Hockey League has announced a press conference set for May 30th at 2pm at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio about a new franchise. Hara Arena is the former home of the Dayton Gems of the Central Hockey League.
- ↑ Dayton Expansion Draft
- ↑ Outlaws ride into Williamsport PA
- ↑ Professional hockey coming to Williamsport's Bowman Field
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