January 5, 2007 - Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL)
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Southern Professional Hockey League received notice early on the evening of January 4, 2007 that the Florida Seals would not be allowed to host any future hockey games in the Silver Spurs Arena. The entire post from Osceola Heritage Park (www.ohpark.com) reads as follows:
"Osceola Heritage Park/SMG announced today that the Florida Seals will not be permitted to host any more of their hockey games at the Silver Spurs Arena due to their failure to meet their contractual obligations. The first game to be canceled is tomorrow, Friday, January 5. Patrons looking for refunds, please go to point of purchase."
An emergency Board of Governors Meeting was called for 9:00AM Friday morning to discuss options and determine the best course of action for the League. After hearing reports from the Director of Hockey Operations, the Chairman of the Board, and former Seals Head Coach Tommy Stewart, it was obvious that the season was not salvageable for the Seals.
The Board then unanimously decided to terminate its affiliation with Orlando Professional Hockey, Inc. (dba Florida Seals) and move forward in making any and all changes necessary to the league schedule. It is expected that the full replacement schedule will be approved at the Winter Meetings on January 15, 2007.
"This situation is very unfortunate for all involved, but the circumstances are beyond our control," SPHL Chairman of the Board, Keith Jeffries, said. "We as a Board are unified and confident in the overall stability of the remaining teams and the League as a whole. We know we will move through this and come out stronger on the other side. While we are disappointed in this latest development with the Seals we now have complete control of the league and where we go from here is completely up to us."
Kevin MacNaught, Managing Partner of the Fayetteville FireAntz and Vice Chairman of the Board agrees and said, "The Board will now refocus our efforts to grow this league, as we have for the last two years, in the right cities and with the right owners."
The Board reconvened at 3:00PM today and held a one-round dispersal draft with each team picking one player. All players not selected in the dispersal draft are free agents. The draft was held in reverse order of the standings based on winning percentage. Here are the selections in order they were taken:
Pee Dee Cyclones - Justin Keller
Jacksonville Barracudas - Lawne Snyder
Fayetteville FireAntz - Rob Sich
Richmond Renegades - Matt Balser
Columbus Cottonmouths - Chad Haacke
Knoxville Ice Bears - Craig Geerlinks
Huntsville Havoc - Craig Miller