We believe that the NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld should resign from the league in order to make a run at becoming a US Congressman. He certainly has a knack for the political arena. Like a good politician, Frankenfeld got USA Hockey to approve his own version of "The Bridge to Nowhere" that we will call the NA3HL Folly Division.
Three weeks ago, the Fresno Monsters were making deals and scouting for talent to bring the Robertson Cup back to Fresno at the end of next season. By all indications, it may be now or never for the North American Hockey League's only California franchise.
Fresno now finds themselves looking at the Western States Hockey League as the primary league for the future of their team. We have to agree that the Amateur Athletic Union sanctioned league is the best choice at this time.
A lot of promises were made when the Monsters entered the NAHL in regards to closer travel partners and a lot of those promises were based on the failure of certain ECHL professional markets. In reality, those failures never took place and now with Wenatchee set to move to the British Columbia Hockey League, the Monsters find their closest division rival to be 1,816 miles away on the Alaska Highway in Canada. Yea, Dawson Creek is one heck of a bus ride away. That is assuming that the Rage are still going to play in the NAHL. We are hearing that the Rage will join the North West Junior Hockey League, a Junior "B" league operating in the Peace River region of Alberta and British Columbia.
The Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks are currently holding up the league with a 2-31-3 record.
With Alaska seemingly out of the picture, and Wenatchee going to the BCHL, Fresno may have seen the error of their ways and are expected to make a full commitment to the WSHL this week. Doing so will torpedo the NA3HL's efforts to form a division on the West Coast and force the remaining three teams to schedule within the existing NA3HL teams.
The teams that USA Hockey approved, the Fresno Monsters, So Cal Titans, San Jose Jr Sharks, and Orange County HC better be ready for an exciting schedule. With Fresno out of the picture, the other three are in for a treat with bus trips to exotic locations like Battle Creek, Michigan. The league's other option is to charge the California kids $30,000+ a year in order to subsidize air travel to and from the Midwest.
Frankenfeld, and obviously USA Hockey, must be thinking that a few current WSHL teams are going to want to return to USA Hockey and join the NA3HL. The other thought is that USA Hockey is going to allow the NA3HL to poach teams from the NORPAC and American West Hockey League like they did from Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the WSHL is fighting back by inching their way east with new teams expected to pop up in Kansas and Oklahoma.
What is Frankenfeld thinking? Maybe that Tier III players are more lucrative than Tier II? We find it amusing that the NAHL could not find any decent travel partners for Fresno and Wenatchee, but Frankenfeld was able to pull three NA3HL teams out of his hip pocket in no time.
We look forward to bringing you the rest of the story. Vote for Frankenfeld.
What do you think?