by Dan Krieger
July 28, 2016 - ECHL (ECHL)
National Hockey League: The NHL's New York Islanders were not happy with their first season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and several reports stated that the Islanders' ownership was in talks with the ownership of Major League Baseball's New York Mets about building a new arena for the Islanders next to the Mets' home at Citi Field. The Barclays Center seats only 15,700 for hockey with 1,500 of those seats having an obstructed view. Only two NHL teams ranked below the Islanders in attendance last season.
ECHL: The group trying to bring an ECHL team to Portland (ME) by the 2017-18 season is said to be adding a new investor, but it is not certain whether the group will pursue an expansion franchise or try to purchase and relocate an existing franchise. The ECHL will operate with 27 teams in 2016-17 and wants to grow to as many teams as the National Hockey League, which will have 31 teams in 2017-18 with addition of a team in Las Vegas. The ECHL announced the addition of an expansion team called the Worcester (MA) Railers FC for 2017-18. The former Evansville IceMen team is sitting out the 2016-17 season and plans to return in 2017-18 as the Owensboro (KY) IceMen. The city of Prescott Valley (AZ), which was last home to the Arizona Sundogs in the 2013-14 Central Hockey League, has expressed interest in obtaining either an ECHL or an American Hockey League team in the future.
Federal Hockey League: The FHL announced the schedule for its seventh season in 2016-17 that will feature six teams. The league had six teams last season, but the Dayton Demolition and Brewster (NY) Bulldogs will not return. The league added an expansion team called the St. Clair Shores (MI) Fighting Saints and the Watertown (NY) Wolves returned after sitting out last season due to arena renovations.