What went into the idea of bringing Junior A Hockey back to the Minneapolis/St Paul area?
We fell that the Minneapolis/St Paul area provides a lot of advantages to an NAHL franchise. There are a lot of players in the area and the landscape of hockey has changed. High School players know that in order to move on to division I or division III college hockey they need to play junior. Therefore the interest in junior hockey is at a premium for players in high school. We also realize that bringing a team to the cities provides challenges. We are competing with a lot of hockey in the area. We plan to make the game experience something fans will enjoy at an affordable ticket price. We also plan to treat our players and staff the way any successful junior franchise would.
What went into Richfield Ice Arena becoming the home of the NAHL franchise?
We have always looked at Richfield Ice Arena as a great place for hockey. When we started looking at potential venues the city told us of their plan to renovate the facility making it feasible for junior hockey. That and the partnership with the city of Richfield sealed the deal. We are excited to work together for years to come.
With so many local high school players leaving to play in other junior leagues what does the Minnesota NAHL franchise have to offer in comparison?
The NAHL is a great league. The history of the league dates back 37 years with NHL alumni that include Eric Lindros, Brian Rolston, and many more. The NAHL is the largest junior A league in the nation with teams in 13 states. With an NAHL franchise in the Twin Cities local players will now have the option to play high level junior hockey close to home. From a player advancement standpoint there is no better place to play. Every week there are college and NHL scouts already attending local showcases, leagues, or high school games. Many scouts make the Twin Cities their home and with the number of Division I and III college hockey programs in the area, players will have the opportunity to be seen and advance. Visit www.nahl.com for more information.
How will the franchise go about recruiting players for the 2013-2014 season?
The team will recruit nationally and look for high end talent from across the country. We will also keep in mind that many of those talented athletes are right here in Minnesota. Our team receives 10 tenders each year. A tender is an opportunity to sign players to your team for the following season. In our case we will be looking to sign players for the 2013-14 season this winter. Our league also holds a draft in the spring. We will draft up to 20 players at that time. Then we take the 10 tendered players and our 20 draft picks to create our initial protected list.
We will have 2-3 open camps and a main camp between May and mid July. Players that perform well at any of the camps may be added to our protected list. All players that have an opportunity to make the team will be invited back to our main camp. At the main camp we will select our team for the following season. It is important to note that all tendered and drafted players are not guaranteed a spot on the team. Any open camp or main camp player that performs well and fits the team will have the same opportunity as anyone else.
What kind of ticket packages are going to be available?
We are going to sell individual, group, corporate, and season tickets for the upcoming season. Ticket prices are designed to meet any family’s budget. We will also have opportunities for local youth hockey associations to fund raise through ticket sales partnership.
How can local businesses partner with the NAHL franchise?
We are excited to partner with local businesses and provide advertising opportunities. There will be various levels of corporate sponsorships and local businesses can advertise with us in a variety of ways. We offer dasher board signage, in ice advertising, and a variety of advertising space throughout Richfield Ice Arena. For more information contact Kevin Ingvalson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, what are long term goals of the NAHL franchise?
Our goal is to provide our players and fans with a rewarding experience everyone can be proud of. We want our players to compete and play with skill. From a team standpoint if we do the right things championships will follow. We want to put our players first and put them in the position to succeed. We want our fans to feel as if they are a part of something special and benefit from a great on-ice and off-ice product.