After being officially informed by Perani Arena officials that the arena management is committed to a lease signed with a new NAHL team, the IHL has given up efforts to place a team there for next season. Meanwhile, Kinney Entertainment announces it will fold the Port Huron IceHawks.
The picture of what a merged CHL/IHL would look like became clearer with two moves announced yesterday. First, the IHL said it was giving up efforts to place a team in Flint’s Perani Arena to replace the Flint Generals; arena management says a lease signed with an NAHL team is in place.
“We had an ownership group in place to keep pro hockey going in Flint, as we feel the market will support minor league pro hockey,” said Dennis Hextall, IHL Commissioner. “With the affiliation between the IHL and CHL, there were great expectations regarding the upcoming season but due to circumstances beyond our control, it unfortunately appears that Flint will not be able to participate at this time.”
And neither will Port Huron, though no one was really expected the franchise to survive into the coming season. From a statement issued by the Kinney Entertainment ownership: “We wish to thank the loyal fans, sponsors, and season ticket holders for their support these past three years. The team will not be playing anywhere else. It was a difficult decision for the ownership and management of the team and its staff at Kinney Entertainment.”
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