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Thread: English Premier Ice Hockey League 2015/16

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    English Premier Ice Hockey League 2015/16

    Can we get some discussions going?

    The league has two teams in serious trouble this season. Bracknell Bees almost went bankrupt. They have since cut costs and around 5 players have left in fear of not being paid. It looks like things have calmed and they'll finish the season. Hopefully continue next year too.

    Manchester Phoenix big debates going on about the Phoenix. Basically they have run out of money. They are asking fans to donate any money they can and you receive a 'virtual brick' http://www.phoenixsupporters.co.uk/trust/wall/ on the Supporters Trust wall. The team needs something like £40,000 to last the season then is also saying they will be back in Manchester next year (as they are currently in North Wales). It's not looking good but the money is being raised pretty well. However they are running with only 16 players and the results are showing.
    Last edited by Marc Brunengraber; 05-01-2016 at 15:46. Reason: Corrected Bracknell's team name
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I haven't followed the league closely this season. I follow the Telford Tigers on and off because of Max Birbraer. Telford seems to have several imports who could easily (& perhaps should) be playing in the EIHL. I find it interesting that they played a competitive game against an EIHL team at the start of the season, and have mauled a few teams from what I believe is the ENL (3rd tier?).

    Still not sure exactly what I think about the overall level and how close it is (or isn't) to the EIHL.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I haven't followed the league closely this season. I follow the Telford Tigers on and off because of Max Birbraer. Telford seems to have several imports who could easily (& perhaps should) be playing in the EIHL. I find it interesting that they played a competitive game against an EIHL team at the start of the season, and have mauled a few teams from what I believe is the ENL (3rd tier?).

    Still not sure exactly what I think about the overall level and how close it is (or isn't) to the EIHL.
    Telford are funded by a guy name Wayne Scholes who runs 'Red Hockey' as part of his media company. He funds Telford and he also put money into the Manchester Phoenix and Bracknell - but took his money out of both teams (and now you see they are struggling) He seems to be aiming to make Telford into a powerhouse, which is working. Their attendances are up, they are signing players, as you say, who are far above the EPL level and should really be in the EIHL. Yet if they can play in the EPL, semi pro, probably live closer to home and get more money and ice time, it's obvious why they stay down there.

    There is a lot of talk of Telford making the jump to the EIHL on the backing of 'red hockeys' funding and with the new Wembley Emperors coming in a season or 2 the league ideally needs to expand by 2 teams to keep the conference system .
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    There is a lot of talk of Telford making the jump to the EIHL on the backing of 'red hockeys' funding and with the new Wembley Emperors coming in a season or 2 the league ideally needs to expand by 2 teams to keep the conference system .
    Neil Black has said that a team would need to be capable of maintaining a crowd of 2,000 to be accepted into the EIHL, which would seem to rule Telford out unless they build a new rink or expand their existing one. They have also spoken with Wayne Scholes about the possibility and have ruled it out for the near future.

    The EPIHL ran with 9 teams last season, which was far from ideal and is something I'd assume they'd try to avoid in future. As Red Hockey also own Deeside Dragons, a lower league side who currently share their rink with the Phoenix, they could be moved into the EPIHL if Phoenix fold.

    If Bracknell were to disappear or eventually move up (as their owners have said they want to) then I think they'd be much harder to replace.

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    I try and get to a couple of Sheffield Steeldogs games in a season. Going to see them play Peterborough tonight. If anyone wants to get an idea of the level here are some Steeldogs highlights...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEkXxEVMiio

    I think its an entertaining league to watch but the lack of promotion/relegation IMO hurts the teams at this level when trying to build a fanbase.

    I agree with what Gareth says re Telford though this season they have been less than dominant and are currently only 5th.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    I try and get to a couple of Sheffield Steeldogs games in a season. Going to see them play Peterborough tonight. If anyone wants to get an idea of the level here are some Steeldogs highlights...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEkXxEVMiio

    I think its an entertaining league to watch but the lack of promotion/relegation IMO hurts the teams at this level when trying to build a fanbase.

    I agree with what Gareth says re Telford though this season they have been less than dominant and are currently only 5th.
    Yes strange how Telford aren't who there were last season. I guess it shows, even with extra money, the epl is very competitive.

    I keep meaning on making some Steeldogs games myself!
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    Yes strange how Telford aren't who there were last season. I guess it shows, even with extra money, the epl is very competitive.

    I keep meaning on making some Steeldogs games myself!
    I would definitely recommended going to a Steeldogs game if you have chance. They lost 6-3 to the Phantoms on Saturday. Very entertaining game. Steeldogs have got a very good Lithuanian called Arnoldas Bosas playing for them this season. Ales Padelek scored a hat-trick for Phantoms. I remember going to see him play for Dukla Jihlava in Czech 1.Liga in about 2012.

    I like Ice Sheffield as a venue. Plus, if you really want to treat yourself, there are 3 NIHL1 North teams that play there too and often there's a game on. I saw the Spartans get slaughtered 15-2 by Blackburn Hawks before the Steeldogs game. Quite a few Hawks fans had made the trip across the Pennines too.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    I would definitely recommended going to a Steeldogs game if you have chance. They lost 6-3 to the Phantoms on Saturday. Very entertaining game. Steeldogs have got a very good Lithuanian called Arnoldas Bosas playing for them this season. Ales Padelek scored a hat-trick for Phantoms. I remember going to see him play for Dukla Jihlava in Czech 1.Liga in about 2012.

    I like Ice Sheffield as a venue. Plus, if you really want to treat yourself, there are 3 NIHL1 North teams that play there too and often there's a game on. I saw the Spartans get slaughtered 15-2 by Blackburn Hawks before the Steeldogs game. Quite a few Hawks fans had made the trip across the Pennines too.
    Blackburn get some good numbers dont they!

    IceSheffield looks like a great little arena too, I really need to take a train ride on my day off. Just checked out Bosas.. he looks seriously good for the EPL! 25 and played in Kazakh league for example. Very interesting signing
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    IHF Prospect brhlcommish's Avatar
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    I find it odd, that teams don't sign more player from NA, seemingly the language barrier wouldn't be there, and if they'd focus on YOUNGER guys instead of past prime guys, they could start to build something.
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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brhlcommish View Post
    I find it odd, that teams don't sign more player from NA, seemingly the language barrier wouldn't be there, and if they'd focus on YOUNGER guys instead of past prime guys, they could start to build something.
    You need to be a EU passport holder or a Duel EU/NA passport holder to play in this league. A younger guy might want to try his hand elsewhere before ending up here.
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    he Elite League is delighted to announce the addition of the Milton Keynes Lightning for the 2017-18 season.

    This is part of the league’s planned growth and the board unanimously voted in favour of Milton Keynes joining the league.

    http://www.eliteleague.co.uk/mk-to-j...l-from-201718/

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    Yes, I think it's a good addition too. There are rumours that it may happen earlier if Edinburgh Capitals financially cant compete in EIHL next season.

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    Somebody can help with average Team Attendance in English Premier Hockey League ?

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Somebody can help with average Team Attendance in English Premier Hockey League ?
    These are very rough numbers, put together from various places, mainly the odd gamesheet that actually includes an attendance number...

    Basingstoke Bison: 1,050
    Bracknell Bees: 1,200
    Guildford Flames: 1,650
    Hull Pirates: 600 (probably less)
    Manchester Phoenix: 800 (probably more like 500)
    Milton Keynes Lightning: 1,080
    Peterborough Phantoms: 550 (probably little more)
    Sheffield Steeldogs: 500
    Swindon Wildcats: 275 (probably little more)
    Telford Tigers: 800
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    Thanks :-)

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    James Archer, Manchester Phoenix favourite leagues due to personal reasons (http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=36150) along with Mark Thomas that leaves two big holes to fill for the struggling Phoenix.
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    I was surprised that Tony Hand signed a new 2 year deal. Realistically what are the prospects for the Phoenix? Are they any closer to moving back to Manchester? Weren't they hoping to have a temporary arena in the city centre in place for next season?

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    I was surprised that Tony Hand signed a new 2 year deal. Realistically what are the prospects for the Phoenix? Are they any closer to moving back to Manchester? Weren't they hoping to have a temporary arena in the city centre in place for next season?
    I'm very shocked also. Tony is clearly a very loyal person! Rumours have him moving to Edinburgh but I can't see it right now. I've also heard that he has some percentage of ownership as part of his contract with Phoenix so maybe that is why he's staying? Or maybe they are using him as proof they are not going anywhere?

    Neil Morris released his statement yesterday that the new temporary rink which will be a converted warehouse for 3 or so seasons is close to being announced and details released. I hope so I'd hate to see them go as much as I don't like their owner and his ways
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Some updates on the Situation of Manchester Phoenix...

    So to recap... They fell out with the owners of their rink in Manchester and have been playing in Deeside, North Wales this season. You can already see the problem, A Manchester team in a different country! Anyway...

    Promises are made that the team will play in a new rink in Manchester city centre. This new rink will be built in the coming 5 or so years (maybe) until then because the Manchester Storm are back in the Elite League and are owned by the rink, that Phoenix fell out with, the Phoneix have said they are getting an old warehouse type builing in Manchester "9 minutes away from the main train station" (so a lot closer than Wales!) which will be converted into a temp rink for 3 years until their new rink is built. All of this has been said with zero proof of anything and there is a rumour that the Phoenix owner has signed a 3 year deal to stay in Wales!

    Adding to this... Phoenix have recently lost their Main D man to retirement ,one of their star players to a team in the same league and another star player also to a team in the same league! Many think players are jumping ship before it all falls apart.
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    Thanks, Gareth. It doesn't look good for them. With Deeside Dragons attracting quite a bit of local support in NIHL2 and getting promotion to NIHL1 I really can't see the Phoenix surviving another season in Wales. Ironically Red Hockey have now ended their involvement with both teams.

    There's something rather appealing about going to see a game in an old warehouse. I gather that BBT is being moved from Cardiff to Leeds. I suppose the Phoenix couldn't afford to buy/lease it but that might have been an option.

    I really like EPL but with MK moving up to Elite League in 2017 and financial problems besetting many teams you have to wonder what future it has. Would Blackburn Hawks potentially be able to move up to that level? They've dominated NIHL for the last couple of years and do have a fanbase.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    Thanks, Gareth. It doesn't look good for them. With Deeside Dragons attracting quite a bit of local support in NIHL2 and getting promotion to NIHL1 I really can't see the Phoenix surviving another season in Wales. Ironically Red Hockey have now ended their involvement with both teams.

    There's something rather appealing about going to see a game in an old warehouse. I gather that BBT is being moved from Cardiff to Leeds. I suppose the Phoenix couldn't afford to buy/lease it but that might have been an option.

    I really like EPL but with MK moving up to Elite League in 2017 and financial problems besetting many teams you have to wonder what future it has. Would Blackburn Hawks potentially be able to move up to that level? They've dominated NIHL for the last couple of years and do have a fanbase.
    It's starting to look more like Red Hockey were a burden rather then a help to both Manchester Phoenix and Bracknell, isn't it? Sure they are doing decent things in Telford but that is obviously stretching their finances too much to support 3 teams! I can't see the Phoenix lasting more than half a season (if that) if they announce they are in Deeside again and with Bracknell also on the verge of being taken over by supporters it sure looks like the EPL model isn't working out so well right now!

    I see the Hawks mentioned a lot and I am surprised by their support. They are now affiliated with the Storm in some fashion I believe and I've heard that an idea is around for Silverblades to put them in the EPL so we'd have Storm > Hawks > Aces > Tornados as a setup taking development down to the junior levels. If it happens then, very nice! However many on the hockey forum doubt that Blackburn would keep their attendance if they became an EPL team as they wouldn't necessarily be the best team off the bat.
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    I didn't know about the Storm-Hawks link up but that seems like a good idea. I see what you mean about how more casual Hawks fans might rather watch them dominate the likes of Sutton Sting in NIHL rather than see them lose to Basingstoke or whoever in EPL.

    I went to the NIHL play off weekend at Ice Sheffield last week. Great weekend-6 games and 51 goals. Both Blackburn and Whitley brought very good support with them. Was nice to see there is life below EPL.

    It's a tricky one re Red Hockey. Whilst it's great they are investing in UK Ice Hockey I do agree they appear to have overstretched themselves. Likewise (as a Panthers Fan) whilst I'm definitely in favour of establishing an Elite League team in London/Wembley I do wonder if Neil Black might find similar problems if he does end up owning 3 teams in that league.

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    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    The company behind the Manchester Phoenix, Freezing Point LTD, has been put into liquidation by the owner Neil Morris. This is seen as a sure sign that the team is doomed and won't start the new season. The owner however remains confident, but still won't release details of the teams supposed new ice rink being built in Manchester city centre because of 'commercial reasons'. The team has until June 1st to apply to stay in the league and there are only around 100 days for them till season starts and with no rink, hardly and team and no company behind them it isn't looking great.
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Max Birbraer is leaving Telford to join a different EPIHL side. I know which one but out of respect will wait for the official announcement.

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    Its official now, Swindon Wildcats

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    The company behind the Manchester Phoenix, Freezing Point LTD, has been put into liquidation by the owner Neil Morris. This is seen as a sure sign that the team is doomed and won't start the new season. The owner however remains confident, but still won't release details of the teams supposed new ice rink being built in Manchester city centre because of 'commercial reasons'. The team has until June 1st to apply to stay in the league and there are only around 100 days for them till season starts and with no rink, hardly and team and no company behind them it isn't looking great.
    So, in theory, both the Phoenix and Bracknell will be in EPL next season

    http://www.britishicehockey.co.uk/ne...-team-line-up/

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    New temporary arena for the Phoenix

    http://www.britishicehockey.co.uk/ep...-to-eastlands/

    If this happens good to see them moving back from North Wales.

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