For anyone wondering if the USHL would be making its way to Maine anytime soon, here’s your answer.
USHL spokesman Brian Werger said Thursday morning the league has no plans of adding a team in Maine in the near future following a report in the Lewiston Sun-Journal (Maine). The Sun-Journal quoted Jim Cain, who owns the Androscoggin Bank Colisee about future plans for the building. Cain discussed the facility potentially landing a USHL team.
He said, ‘We’ve been looking hard at the Federal hockey League option, knowing it’s on the table. We know that the USHL (United States Hockey League) is a year out, and now that we know that with more certainty, that it’s really going to happen, we have to bridge that gap of time.”
Werger also added there doesn’t appear to be any plans for expansion for next season with the league staying at 16 teams for what will be the third season in a row. There had been a possibility of a team coming to Marion, Ind., but plans for the team have stalled in regards to adding a team for the 2012-13 season.
The league has said in the past adding a team is a year to 18-month process making the window, at this point, virtually impossible to add a team unless some unforeseen circumstances were to come up.
“Obviously nice to have teams within our footprint,” Werger said. “We’ve had our eyes out west and out east but a lot of things have to fall in place for that to happen.”
Though one thing which appears to be changing is the way the league will present the Futures Draft. Werger said the Futures Draft and the Entry Draft are the busiest days on the league’s website.
He said the league receives ten times more traffic on Draft Days than it does on a regular day. The league averages a little more than 101,000 hits per month, according to an estimate from Quantcast.com, which measures website traffic.
The Futures Draft drew so much traffic last season it resulted in the league and its teams having to tweet draft picks. Werger said the league has been working towards making sure there isn’t another repeat of last year.
He added the league plans on having some online video to go with the draft.
“We’re not going to have all 16 teams in one room and walk up to the podium but more of an analysis where we’ll have two or three guys talking about the draft, announcing the picks,” Werger said. “They’ll also be doing some interviews. It is a little more of that format as opposed to watching a guy walk up to a podium.”
The Futures Draft, which allows teams to select what is slated to be the top 16-year-olds, will be held May 1. The Entry Draft, which allows teams the chance to select players 16 and older from midget teams, high school teams or other junior teams, will be May 22.