Today is the big day in Elmira, with First Arena and the FHL retweeting news that at 4pm EST time, there will be a press conference at the arena, presumably to officially make it official that Elmira will have a team in the FHL.
But there has to be more to it than that, what all could we see at today’s event? We try to narrow it down based on what we know already about the team, and what has yet to be addressed.
What We Know
We know the rink and the region are getting a team. They’ve already announced a deal on the local news last week, then the next day they had season ticket info and forms making the rounds, complete with the FHL logo on top of them. So while we know a team is coming to Elmira, today will make it “official” even though the news has been out for about six days now.
But what’s strange about this, is that we reached out to multiple people within the FHL, and they all responded with, “No clue” about what we could expect from today’s announcement, so perhaps there won’t even be anyone from the FHL at today’s announcement? Which is odd given that the league’s Twitter page has been retweeting nearly every story from Elmira media about the town getting a team in the FHL.
And that’s it. We know nothing else about this team, other than that former Elmira Jackals GM, and Elmira Pioneers co-owner Robbie Nichols, is the owner and spearheaded the effort, starting last summer. We have no idea who else is involved, what arena details there are, what a team name is, who might be the coach, NOTHING. While other FHL teams are announcing signings for the upcoming season, Elmira is starting from scratch and today is the day the ball officially gets rolling.
What We’d Like To See
Now, this probably all won’t happen, but we’d like to see and hear some more info about the team, and the arena lease details. Maybe address how much the team is paying per month, or if not that, address how the upgrades and repairs that the arena needs will get taken care of going forward.
According to our good friend Andy Malnoske of the local NBC-affiliate in Elmira, we could see some of that, as well as details on when the team might announce a name and logo, as well as a head coach.
“Basically they will be announcing when the team name will happen and when the coach will come in,” Malnoske told us on Twitter. “Also, they will likely touch base on Elmira city questions/are a payment issues. Gonna be fun!”
If that all rings true, then the most interesting thing to come out of today would be the details on the arena and payment issues. Maybe it gives us a little insight as to what their lease is, a well-kept secret for most teams around the league (Watertown was reportedly at $40,000 last year), but at worst, we will hopefully know who is paying for what to get the arena back into pro hockey shape, and how long the timeline would be to get them done.
The coach and name things are also interesting, because as we’ve discussed previously on here, there are about 100 days until the reported start of the FHL season, and you would think they would want those things taken care of sooner rather than later, to help build a brand and get team recognition, and so the coach can get out there, recruit players, get in the community and spread awareness about the team. Maybe it means they have a coach lined up, but he’s yet to make it to Elmira? But again, Nichols was trying to get a team in there last year, so we assume he is ahead of the game when it comes to launching this team, even with 100 days until the season starts.
So yeah, that’s what we’re expecting and hoping to see from today’s announcement, but the FHL being coy about if they’ll be there certainly raises some suspicions.