After much waiting and anticipation, both of which were only amplified by the announcement being pushed back a week, the Elmira FHL team announced its name and logo Thursday afternoon at First Arena.
And the new team name is…
THE ELMIRA ENFORCERS!
— Andy Malnoske (@18SportsAndy) August 2, 2018
The Enforcers opted for the alliteration angle with the E nickname to pair with Elmira, and went with a strong, fierce-looking police officer decked out in grey clothes, with a nod to the Elmira area code on the officer’s hat. He is also holding a hockey stick with a pair of skates dangling off of the end, and also looks suspiciously like team owner Robbie Nichols. There’s a nice pop of color with the straight-forward Elmira Enforcers font, bringing green back to the league for the first time since the Danbury franchise folded two seasons ago.
Many people wondered if the team would continue to be named the Jackals, but with the ECHL holding the trademarks to that name and logo still, that was likely never going to happen.
Reaction to the logo online and in our mentions on both Twitter and Facebook has been…mixed to say the least. We’ll have more thoughts on the name and logo in a separate post, but for now, hockey fans in Elmira have a team name to root for and know what their colors will be, the Elmira Enforcers in grey and green.
In addition to the new team name and logo, the Enforcers announced their first player signing, veteran goalie Nick Niedert, who played a handful of games for the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL over his VERY traveled minor league career. Niedert’s pro career dates back to 2004-05 with the Macon Trax of the SPHL, and he has played games in every season of the FHL’s existence.
Niedert’s best season in the FHL came in 2010-11 with the Danbury Whalers, where he went 19-4-3 with a 3.52 GAA and .898 save percentage across 38 games. Niedert has spent most of his FHL time in Danbury, but also had stints in Danville and Watertown. He appeared in just two games last season for the Carolina Thunderbirds, but is just one season removed from a 13-5-1 mark with a 3.13 GAA in 2016-17 for the Danbury Titans. His best pro season would be 2008-09 with the Jersey Rockhoppers of the EPHL, where he captured league MVP honors with a mark of 25-15-2 across 42 games.
In addition to the signing of Niedert, the Enforcers later announced that they had tabbed veteran FHL coach and former FHL player Brent Clarke to be their head coach.
Fans of the FHL will be familiar with Clarke, who was the headman for Watertown in 2014-15, where he guided the Wolves to the first title in team history. That team had the league’s best record that year, going 32-13-6-3 in 54 games.
Clarke has amassed a 51-42-9-8 mark in his FHL head coaching career. Clarke was most recently the head coach of the Danville Dashers last season, guiding them to a 19-29-3-5 mark and 4th place last season.
Clarke had a journeyman career as a player, starting in the new IHL in 2008, and playing a games in the AAHL, SPHL, ECHL, and CHL in addition to a season’s worth of games in the FHL, mainly with Danville.
With a steady goaltender and strong coach in place, the Enforcers appear to have a strong foundation set as they work to round out their roster with less than 90 days to go until the season starts.
What do you think of today’s moves fans? Love or hate the logo? Love or hate the signing and coaching announcement?