Massena, Watertown: It’s hockey time in the North Country!


Hockey! Photo: Nedra, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Well, not quite yet…but there is a lot of North Country hockey news today. Here we go:

In Watertown, it seems the future of Federal Hockey League team the Watertown Privateers is somewhat up in the air as a new team (also FHL) will start up at the Watertown Municipal Arena next season. The Watertown Daily Times is reporting today that team may replace the Privateers, although it’s not clear whether that’s their plan or whether they plan to take over the Privateers.

A group of local investors (they’re listed in the article) had been negotiating to buy the Privateers, but Privateers owner (and Federal Hockey League Commissioner) Don Kirnan has said no money would change hands if the group takes over the team. If it decides to start a new team, it’s not clear what will happen to the Privateers.

In other hockey news today, the newly-formed North Atlantic Professional Hockey League has signed on with a Massena group to locate its second team there (the first team is the Berkshire Black Bears, based in North Adams, Mass.) The new Massena team, whose name hasn’t been announced yet, will play at the 1,200-seat Massena Arena. The season starts Oct. 10.

The league (home page) is looking to form eight teams, four in the U.S. and four in Canada. That’s according to the Watertown Daily Times. Once again, there’s a lot more info on what’s happening with the new league in the article.

What I’m finding particularly interesting here is the relationships between these two leagues: NAPHL President Phil DeFranco used to be with the FHL, as did Vice President Jerry Deno; there’s a chance some of the FHL teams could go over to the NAPHL; and they share the same web designer, meaning that their sites look very similar (that’s more of a side note.)

By the way, if you’re a little clueless about non-NHL-related hockey leagues (as I am), here‘s a great New York Times article from a couple years ago that goes a long way toward explaining it. It’s about the Federal Hockey League. And may I say the world of professional hockey in our region is fascinating. Also, the leagues that are affiliated with the NHL as developmental leagues are the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League.


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