Radio 5 Live had a feature on Wednesday (23rd July) afternoon at 4.50pm about the future of the Ice Hockey Superleague. It was stated on the programme that if a buyer for the Nottingham Panthers was not found this week then the club could fold - and also the league could collapse. It was stated that the Superleague was about 2 years ahead of its time in being set up and that the teams in the smaller rinks with less money (eg. Bracknell & Basingstoke) needed high quality players in order to compete - and therefore wages to be paid that are above their means. The Panthers seem to have gone down this road in an attempt to be competitive being 0.25 Million UK Pounds in debt and so have been put up for sale for 0.75 Million UK Pounds. A 2 Million pound investment is the minumum expected to be worthwhile. If no buyer is found the club could be forced into extinction or into the British League. That would leave a Superleague of just 7 teams - too small to be able to sustain meaningful competition. This may being the league to collapse. The General Manager of Nottingham Panthers said that he remained hopeful that the situation would be resolved. Radio 5 Live made no comment or conclusion, they just moved onto the next story.
Storm will play Interlaken, a team from Switzerland on tour on Wednesday 3 September in a challenge match at the Nynex Arena. The team doesn't appear to be in the top flight of the Swiss leagues.
The World Rollin' Thunder roller hockey tournament that was to hold the final in Manchester in August has now been cancelled due to several of the competition's financial backers pulling out at the last minute.
It appears that the Sheffield Steelers challenge matches planned for the last weekend in August have been scrapped. Instead, Storm will begin their B&H Cup campaign with a home game against the Steelers on the same night - Sunday 31 August.
The B&H Cup groups have been announced. Storm are in Group A with Sheffield Steelers, Telford Tigers, Paisley Pirates, Ayr Scottish Eagles and Newcastle Cobras. Group B has Basingstoke, Bracknell, Cardiff, Nottingham, Peterborough and Slough.
Season tickets have been delayed. You can pick them up in a few days time from the Nynex Arena.
Medway Bears have changed their name for the new season. They will now be know as Invicta Dynamo.
Manchester Storm will launch the new kit - and the new players on the Friday before the International tournament (22nd August). Replica kits will go on sale on the weekend of the International tournament (from 23 August).
Storm have signed four more new players - Jeff Jablonski, Troy Neumaier, Grant Sjerven and Dave Morrison. Jeff Jablonski signed from Roanoke Express of the East Coast Hockey League and has previously played for Raleigh Ice Caps in 1993/94. He is described as a fast skating forward with the knack of scoring goals. He was the top scorer for Roanoke Express last season. Troy Neumaier has signed from Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League and is a defenceman. Kurt Kleinendorst describes him as a defenceman whose skills will compliment those of the players around him. Grant Sjerven will be starting goalie and was an ex-team mate of Trevor Robins a couple of years ago. Dave Morrison has spent the last five years in the DEL (Germany), and was with Kassel
Huskies last season.
There will be no draws in the EHL this season. There will be 3 points for a win in normal time, 1 each for a draw in normal time with the tie being split by 10 mins overtime and then penalties with the winner getting a bonus point.
With #7 Dale Jago returning next season along with newcomer Kris Miller, also the "owner" of a #7, both men wanted to remain number 7 for the coming season. Kris Miller won that battle as he retains his shirt number - Dale Jago's number for next season has yet to be confirmed. Maybe I've over-dramatised this issue but never mind!
One of Stomforce's sponsors next season is Internet Service Provider Planet Internet of Leeds.
Solihull and Whitley have pulled out of the new British League in order to play in the lower-standard English League Division One.
The BIHA has announced that the British Premier League next season will have 11 member teams. In the south there are Cardiff, Guildford, Peterborough, Slough, Swindon and Telford. The northern section contains Kingston, Fife, Blackburn, Paisley and Murrayfield. Both conferences will see the teams playing twice home and away in their own groups and in a National League, once home and away against the other 10 teams. The end of season play-offs will be based on league positions with the top 6 teams in a championship play-off, with the other 5 teams in a shield competition. A Christmas Cup will be played over the festive period, and the league organisers have added an exciting element to the competition - the top English elite league clubs have been asked to join in the competition with invites having gone out to Chelmsford, Romford, Haringey, Wightlink, Sunderland, Billingham, Altrincham, Solihull, Medway and Whitley. League Secretary, David Pickles, said that he was disappointed that it seemed unlikely that Medway and Solihull would join the British competition. He was shocked that Whitley had decided to withdraw from the National competition at this late stage.
It is reported that Kingston Hawks will go back to the popular name of Seahawks next season (probably Kingston Seahawks). This has come about from the sponsorship from British Aerospace ending - as they required Kingston to be the Kingston Hawks.
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