There’s a new hockey league being formed in the region and if you want to get more of a hockey fix this winter, the second team to be involved has been awarded right across the border in Massena, New York. The North Atlantic Professional Hockey League is based out of Massachusetts and hopes to start icing teams this fall. The President of the league, Phil DeFranco, has had plenty of experience with starting up hockey. He has had his hand in starting up junior hockey leagues in his home state and also helped the former league of the Akwesasne Warriors, the Federal Hockey League jump up onto its feet.
The mission statement for the NAPHL is to provide quality and entertaining hockey at an affordable prices for families. With already one team awarded to the city of North Adams, Massachusetts, Massena, NY is a strategic place to enter a team. Former Akwesasne Warriors owner, Darby Oakes will steer head the Massena movement and have come down to three choices for Head Coach and General Manager. Oakes plans to hold a press conference in June to unveil the coaching staff and front office personnel, along with the team name and mascot. The team will play out of the Massena Arena, the former home of the Massena Americans before they moved to Cornwall and became the Colts.
According to the press release given by the NAPHL, the league will be announcing more teams in the US and even possibly Canada for its first year in existence. The league wants to end up with a total of eight to provide a quality game playing over the course of a 52 game schedule. The longest road trip for teams is said to only be six hours. Could we see an NAPHL team in Cornwall with the River Kings position up in the air? It would create one hell of a rivalry; The Battle of the Seaway.
To keep track of updates on the Massena squad and the NAPHL in general, head on over to their website: www.naphl.us. Of course, here at March Hockey, I’ll be keeping my eyes locked closely on this story.