Johnstown Could Soon Have Another Team
You’ll recall a story on FF yesterday that brought sad news to the city of Johnstown.
As announced by primary owner Neil Smith, the ECHL’s oldest franchise, the Chiefs, will be heading to South Carolina at the conclusion of this season, leaving the hockey-centric region without a host team for the first time in years.
The Tribune-Democrat today is reporting that Philadelphia native Andy Richards, vice commissioner of the Federal Hockey League, intends to work toward bringing a team to Johnstown.
“We’ve been following the situation with the Chiefs,” Richards said to Mike Mastovich of the paper. “We didn’t anticipate they’d be leaving this soon. We thought they would last a few more years, but economics are economics. When we saw the thing with Greenville, we wanted to set up a meeting with the appropriate people in town and see if we can get involved with the community there. We are interested in getting that meeting set up and see what would be required and if it would fit our model.”
While the Federal Hockey League, which may seem familiar to “Slapshot” fans, may be in its early stages, Richards said he expects to have six teams in place by March 15.
“Johnstown would fit our geography,” Richards noted. Active teams are located in Rome, N.Y., Thousand Islands, N.Y., Danbury, Conn., and Cornwall, Ontario.
Though FF generally doesn’t cover minor league hockey with such vigor, I will stay close to this story, as it impacts the region in which I live.