The NPHL has featured a long and storied past and it was awhile ago that a hockey club from the small community of Fort Nelson had a franchise competing in the North Peace Hockey League, yet when the team disbanded it didn’t look like there would be a chance of it ever returning.
Yet this year however a local group of individuals are working hard together to put forth a proposal to the NPHL in hopes of gaining an expansion franchise to play on the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
The local community is quickly backing this club but the biggest obstacle facing the team going forward will arguably be its geographic location from the rest of the league. As it stands the NPHL is split into two divisions, East and West respectively, and there has always been a wide debate and discussion over travel. Previous years this hasnt been to much of a problem as most of the East division clubs weren’t forced to travel to Fort St. John but now with the Flyers opting out of Triple AAA and rejoining the NPHL fold it remains to be seen how to schedule will work around the issues facing travel.
Fort St. John on the other hand is easily doable on a 8:30pm game. Depending on which club is playing there (or if the Flyers are travelling) it’s not to much of a stretch for players to expect to be home at some point in the early morning.
Fort Nelson on the other hand is a whole other story. Travel to the community from Fort St. John is just under 400 kilometres making a trip from Grande Prairie equate to almost 6 hours. No doubt that would have to open the door for a Saturday night/Sunday afternoon setup if it were to ever work.
The second problem with all that is the NPHL consists of workers and families. We’ve seen it night in and night out that a lot of clubs arrive with short benches. For most players getting time off is out of the question and when a club is having to leave in the early afternoon it begs the question on whether or not a lot of clubs could even ice the mandatory requirement of players.
Not The End
Still it did work before and it will remain to be seen if it could happen again. One things for sure is the group organizing the Fort Nelson Yeti hockey club is full steam ahead on joining the North Peace Hockey League.
Do you think Fort Nelson would help or harm the NPHL?