The Aberdeen News is reporting that that North American Hockey League is close to placing a team in Brookings, SD as early as next season.
According to the story published today, Brookings city and youth hockey officials are still talking with the North American Hockey league and a potential ownership group about a junior hockey team starting play in the town next season.
"The franchise team has actually been negotiating with Brookings on two fronts," said Jeff Weldon, Brookings city manager. "First, is for (use of the Larson Ice Center), and I have been negotiating with them. And the second is with the youth hockey program, which is the primary user of the facility. Between the city and the franchise, we have a tentative agreement, and there a few remaining sticking points that yet need to be worked out between the franchise and the youth hockey association. If we can get them ironed out, we are hoping for NAHL hockey this season."
The NAHL season begins in September with the regular season running through the end of March. A team in Brookings would be the closest NAHL franchise to Aberdeen.
"We feel Brooking would be a wonderful addition to the NAHL and to our central footprint and partners such as Aberdeen," said Alex Kyrias, director of communications and marketing for the NAHL.
It is unclear at this time which of the teams is expecting to move here. There are a number of teams that are looking for new homes or ownership groups. New Mexico, Alaska, Dawson Creek, Springfield, and St. Louis are the first to come to mind.