by Dan Krieger
August 17, 2016 - American Hockey League (AHL)
American Hockey League: The AHL's Lake Erie Monsters have been renamed the Cleveland Monsters as the team begins its tenth season in 2016-17. The Monsters' ownership purchased the AHL's dormant Utah Grizzlies (Salt Lake City) franchise in 2006 and moved it to Cleveland where it started play as the Lake Erie Monsters for the 2007-08 season.
National Hockey League: Officials in Nassau County (NY) are trying to get the NHL's New York Islanders to move back to a renovated Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The Islanders moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season, but were not happy with their first season at the new arena. The Islanders can get out of their Barclays Arena lease in 2019 and have talked of building a new arena in Queens. Renovations at the Nassau Coliseum have reduced the seating capacity to only 13,000 for hockey, so additional seating would most likely need to be added for an NHL team to return.
North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League: The New Jersey Titans (Middletown) will not be part of the new Tier-III NA3AHL for the 2016-17 season. The New Jersey Titans were part of the Tier-III Metropolitan Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and were originally announced as an NA3AHL team when the MJHL disbanded after the 2015-16 season. A higher-level New Jersey Titans team will return for a second season in the Tier-II North American Hockey League in 2016-17.
Ligue Nord Americaine de Hockey: The minor pro-level Quebec-based LNAH, or the North American Hockey League, plans to have the same eight teams return for its 2016-17 season. Teams will include the 3L Riviere-du-Loup, Assurancia de Thetford Mines, Blizzard de Trois-Rivieres, Cool FM Saint-Georges de Beauce, Eperviers Sorel-Tracy, Marquis de Jonquiere, Predateurs de Laval and River Kings de Cornwall.
Major League Soccer: A group of Nashville businessmen has formed the Nashville MLS Organizing Committee to compete now for a potential MLS expansion franchise rather than put city resources behind a lower-level team recently granted by the United Soccer League. The MLS is expected to announce next week the addition of the Minnesota United FC for the 2017 season even though its proposed new stadium in St. Paul will not be ready for a year or two. The Atlanta United FC will join as the 21st team in 2017 and the league wants to play with an even number of teams. The Minnesota MLS team is expected to start play at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium and could change its name to Minnesota FC.
North American Soccer League: An investor interested in bringing an NASL team to the Orange County (CA) area recently announced those plans will no longer move forward. One concern was the cost of travel during the season, as the league would have only one other western team, which will be the 2017 expansion team called the San Francisco Deltas. In addition to reports of financial issues with the league's first-year team called Rayo OKC (Oklahoma City), the group that was managing the day-to-day operations of the team has left the organization. An individual involved in trying to organize an NASL team for Nashville has switched to the group trying to bring a Major League Soccer team to the city.
National Lacrosse League: The indoor NLL's new commissioner stated late last month that bringing a franchise back to Philadelphia was a priority. The NLL's former Philadelphia Wings had been around since 1987 when the team was sold and moved to Connecticut as the New England Black Wolves following the 2014 season. The NLL recently announced plans to move the league headquarters from New York City to the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the Leagues, Teams & Nicknames 2014-15: "The Leagueology Almanac" , which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The publication is currently available at www.amazon.com.