The non-stop news wheel of the Interstate Hockey League keeps turning today.
The league that was planning on starting at four teams for their first season just one month ago, has now added its third expansion team.
Commissioner Drake MacKenzie officially announced to BLH that the league has secured a team in Port Huron, Michigan aptly named the Port Huron Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies team is owned by Jim Feher, a hockey coach in the Port Huron area.
“I was approached by a hockey player that I coached, and was asked to take a look at [the IHL]. It looks like something that could be great for the communities, and for a lot of kids that don’t have the opportunity to go out-of-town to play good hockey, somewhere that they would enjoy and have a lot of fun,” said Feher “We’re looking forward to this first season, to get it off the ground, and for many years to come.”
Feher will be joined in the team’s inaugural season by General Manager Eric Beauchamp, who is heavily involved in minor hockey in Port Huron.
Commisioner MacKenzie expressed great excitement in bringing aboard a legendary hockey community to his league.
“We’re proud to have a 7th member in our league, and are really excited to have such a great Hockey market on board,” said MacKenzie “Of course, reigniting the old Flint-Saginaw-Port Huron rivalry is going to be great for this league.”
Interest in putting a team in Port Huron was first expressed by Scotty Gray, a local player who reached out to MacKenzie to learn more information.
This is the seventh-team in the league, and the second placed in a city with a higher-level hockey team, next to Vehicle City.
What makes this so interesting, is that this will be the first team in the league to directly compete with a previously-placed team in an arena.
The Grizzlies will play many games out of McMorran Arena in Port Huron, the home of the Federal Hockey League’s Port Huron Prowlers, with conflicting dates to be played at Glacier Pointe ice arena.
Having a team right in the same arena as a higher-level professional hockey team immediately opens up the idea that the IHL could quickly become a viable feeder-league for the FHL.
This is strictly speculation, but with inquiries being constantly raised by sources in the FHL regarding the semi-pro league, it doesn’t seem implausible.
We at BLH welcome the Grizzlies- who will have their true logo created by the geniuses at Dangle Sauce – and congratulate the team and league for coming to an agreement going forward!